After viewing the Vocational Meeting in the Philippines, it is amazing to see so many young men stand up when called to the priesthood. Then the young women were called, and more women stood up than the men. Statistics show that the number of nuns have decreased, but through the Neocatechumenal Way, that number can rise. As I mentioned in one of my posts, I have always found the youths in the Neocatechumenal Way remarkable. Then the families were called.....families who wanted to go into mission. About 100 families stood up and went to the stage. Truly, this is the Holy Spirit at work.
It is beautiful to see that Guam, Saipan, Singapore, and many other countries were invited to be there in the Philippines for the vocation meeting. It was a very successful meeting. Many bishops were there including Cardinal Tagle and our Archbishop Anthony Apuron. It was beautiful to see the Bishops working together blessing the youths and families who were called by the Holy Spirit.
The Redemptoris Mater Seminaries are a fruit of the Second Vatican Council and an inspiration of the Servant of God, John Paul II. Redemptoris Mater is Latin for "Mother of the Redeemer." Today, there are about 87 Redemptoris in the world, on five continents. There have been more than 2000 men in these seminaries who have already been ordained to the priesthood. One of the goals of Kiko Arguello is to bring out about 20,000 priests from China and even to re-evangelize Europe who had given in to the secular world. If the Holy Spirit can call hundreds of young men for the priesthood at the vocational meeting in the Philippines, He can call thousands in China. With God all things are possible.
It is the duty of every baptized Catholic to evangelize.....to become missionaries. The Word of God spoken in this vocation meeting tells us to become true Christians. A true Christian is one who walks like Christ. The Gospel we preach has always been a Gospel of Love, and we continue to preach this same Gospel over and over. Many times, our catechists have taught us that God allows things to happen for a reason. We may not see that reason right away, but in time, the big picture will be made clear. However, one thing is very clear, the persecution we endure prepares us to be closer to Christ who was also persecuted. Christ did warn us that His Church will be persecuted just as He is persecuted (John 15:20). "Courage" is the motto and slogan of the Neocatechumenal Way. So, "courage"! Remember the words of St. Paul: We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).
In other words, God our Father prepares us in this persecution because some of us will be sent into countries where we may have to sacrifice our own lives for Christ. For those who cannot endure the little persecution of name-calling such as "liars", "fools",(or even "contract Filipino priest") then brothers, pray for God's grace. Remember, what you are taught about "love" in the Neocatechumenal Way.
1 John 3:13-16 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
God allows these persecutions because as missionaries in the Neocatechumenal Way, God prepares us for His Heavenly Kingdom.