When I said yes to be a full time missionary, I knew that this journey won’t be easy. It will be a bumpy road and definitely, it won’t be a smooth sailing journey. My heart was set to this path that I took. But as I go along in this journey, I’ve realized that it is indeed a difficult path. The call to evangelize is not easy. Especially in these times where change is happening so fast.
Before I became a full time pastoral worker, I have seen this fast pacing change firsthand in my students. I’ve encountered students, though studying in a Catholic school, who are agnostic, and some, who are atheists. I also encountered parents who are not bothered enough that their kids are not going to mass every Sunday because they, too, don’t value religion. I’ve also met students who don’t see the importance of the Sacrament of Matrimony because they think that it is just a mere agreement, to stay together and getting married is just a waste of money. And lastly, students who live an unchaste life and for them, it’s their right. At first, I got scared by how the world is changing these days –how people accept relativism. Some thoughts I had in my mind was the difficulty to encourage them to live a chaste life or even a virtuous life if they don’t have a relationship with the Lord. How can we maintain consistency if inside their homes, there is no continuity of witnessing? It’s frustrating to live in a world like this now but the Holy Spirit sows a seed of hope in my heart that all the more we need to evangelize. The calling to be a missionary grew stronger in my heart.
As I read this book, it’s true that we’re experiencing a new environment where it’s really hard to proclaim the Good News. The evil one works double time. But we shouldn’t succumb to these lies. Our mission to make all youth know Christ is so important because we are journeying with the hope of mankind, these are the future politicians, future doctors, future artists, future lawyers etc. The generation now is very different from the generation before and we need to strengthen our ways of accompanying them. New wine requires new wineskin. New wine can be the generation of today and our approach is the wineskin, we need to think of new ways on how we will journey with them on how we will make them understand God’s message for them. A lengthy talk may work for us, but it won’t work with the new generation today. Thus, we need to think of a new approach. This doesn’t apply only to the talks, but also in dynamics and activities that we’re going to conduct. We need to be one with them but not of them. We need to understand them. We are youth for the youth. So, I think, the new in the new evangelization is us, missionaries. We, human, called by the Lord to serve as a missionary should translate the beauty of Gospel without compromising its message. This is our calling. This is what we need to do. To be relevant without compromise.
Dhei Puyaoan is a Full Time Pastoral Worker of Missionary Families of Christ. She is currently the zone youth coordinator of Mindanao and is the youth coordinator of MFC HIGH.