by Sr. Mary McKearney MMM (1942 – 2017)
To be a missionary, what does it mean?
I don’t know, but two thousand years ago, Christ said:
“Let your light shine for people,
Do not put it under a tub, but on a lampstand.”
I am not aware that there is much light in me, but I know
through his gift of faith to me,
that Christ is in me.
As the years have passed, I’ve heard him call me,
I’ve seen his light shine through my parents, teachers, relatives, friends.
Their faith was strong. I saw that.
But I wanted to keep my distance from this Christ,
Right from the very beginning.
He could demand too much…even my life…not an easy thing to give, but
Someway, somehow, sometime, unknown to myself,
I must have started giving little bits, because some years ago,
A very happy day dawned for me, the day I decided to give ALL.
But painfully I’ve discovered many times since, it was only a decision.
Giving is giving, not just the decision to give.
And giving costs, even when one loves with a great love.
But love is very personal and precious to me.
It isn’t something I want to squander on just any person or any thing.
I’d like to select the people I would love.
It’s just not possible because the most unexpected people surprise me
at the most unexpected times, and I love them – in spite of myself!
With so little co-operation from me
Christ can shine through this thick wall.
But I realise, when I stop to think about it, that
“letting Christ shine through me”
Has a lot to do with being a missionary,
And that every Christian, every follower of Christ,
Has got to be a missionary,
In his or her own particular way.
How much light we would have in the world
If all Christians helped each other to realise this.
But it all comes back to the depth of my faith,
My readiness to give, my willingness to love.
Not easy for isolated me!”
So what does it mean to be a missionary?
I suppose there are as many answers as there are missionaries.
So let your light shine!