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What’s your apostolate?

Three friends who had not seen each other after high school graduation met in a class reunion and were engaged in a spirited conversation. “In our town,” said the first, “people call me ‘Monsignor’ because I am a part-time lay minister.”

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The second said: “Well, I’m now a businessman but I’m an active charismatic elder. I give spiritual talks so everybody calls me ‘Cardinal’.”

The third classmate who was quietly listening had his turn to speak: “Well, I’m a sales representative. I help in church as collector at Mass. Many call me ‘God.’”

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“What, God? How come!” his friends reacted perplexed. The sales rep said, “You see, when I knock at the door of my customers, and they see me standing before them with my products, they exclaim, ‘My God, my God, you again!’”

That funny story might well illustrate that today there are more and more lay people involved in the work of the Church.

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Some years ago I celebrated the culminating Mass of a two-day Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS) of the Loved Flock charismatic community at the DPWH chapel, Port Area in Manila.

What I considered remarkable is that there were generous lay professionals who took time out to reach out to people in need of spiritual renewal.

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They did not only pray and sanctify themselves, but shared their three Ts – time, treasure, talent.

They had taken seriously the call of Christ and went out to heal, preach, teach as enunciated in the gospel of this 14th Sunday: “Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them two by two, ahead of him” (Lk 10,1).

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The Vatican II Decree on Laity puts it clearly: “Incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through confirmation, the laity are ASSIGNED to the apostolate by the Lord himself” (3).

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So whether you are a lawyer, clerk, doctor, an executive, a teacher or whatever, you are sent out to share yourself in the apostolic work of the Church like what those professionals did, organizing a Life in the Spirit Seminar.

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Every Christian disciple should ask himself, “What am I doing in the apostolic work of the Church?”

Once, a man confessed, “What scares me most is when I come face to face with God in the next life.

“Mother Teresa of Calcutta reports and God says, ‘Teresa, you should have done more good works’. And there I am – right behind her!”

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LAFF TODAY. A corrupt policeman always asked for bribe (tong) from traffic violators. One week-end he attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS) and experienced a personal transformation. Now he no longer asks for bribe but “love offering.”

(At least there’s a change, albeit shallow.)

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The theme of the new President Duterte’s administration is PAGBABAGO (Change). Let’s heed his call and cooperate.

Jesus himself said: “If you do not reform, you will all perish” (Lk 13,5). (Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)