Homily of Rev. Paul D. Panaretos, S.J.
One Way of Operating
In Sri Lanka today is a solemnity, which I learned as a tertian. The youthful Sri Lankan church recalls its missionary roots. St. Teresa, who never left her Carmelite convent, was named patroness of all men and women missionaries by Pope Pius XI.
Growing up I easily understood why St. Francis
Xavier had been proclaimed in turn patron of mission lands east of the Cape of Good Hope--all missioners bound for Asia had to sail past the tip of the African continent--and later of the Propagation of the Faith. How did a Carmelite, who lived a cloistered life, join him?
Their fundamental principles of operating echoed each other. Francis’
spiritual principle had been: To “love those people to whom we are sent and to make ourselves loved by them.” [Thérèse’s] ...motto of her monastic life was: “To love Jesus and to make him loved.”/1/Missionaries and even Pope John Paul II/2/ have reminded each Catholic that we are missionaries, too. Jesus invites us to follow him because Jesus loves us. Jesus sends his followers with the mission to continue his work. The first disciples did that by making Jesus known to others.
People attract others to Jesus by their love for Jesus. Your love and my love for Jesus infects others. Our love opens the hearts of others to the love Jesus has for them.
Our roles in the church as well as life differ. Our Catholic way of operating unites us: “To love Jesus and to make him loved.”
2. Redemptoris Missio, 2.