What does it mean to be a missionary?

We usually think of a missionary as a person who leaves home and goes to a foreign land to bring the Good News of Christianity to those who live there. Well, we have some good news for you – you can be a missionary wherever you are!

Being a missionary means a couple of things. One, we are on a mission in life. “We are born in the image and likeness of God and so we are reflections of God in the world. But then through baptism we are called to be members of the body of Christ and to carry on the work that Jesus came to do, which was to reconcile the world to the Father and to reconcile us to one another. And that begins with the Good News,” said Father James Kubicki, SJ, regular contributor to Relevant Radio®.

“We are convinced of the Good News that God loved us so much He sent His only Son to live our life, to suffer, to die, and then to rise from the dead. This is not only Good News, this is great news and the kind of news that we cannot keep to ourselves! So I think mission naturally flows out of the awareness of how much we are loved.”

When we hear wonderful news, we instinctively want to share it. That’s the way the Gospel should be! “We are so in love with Jesus and so much aware of His love for us that we want other people to know this love and to share it with us. And so we can’t keep that Good News to ourselves and we share it in every way that we can,” said Fr. Kubicki.

Being a missionary doesn’t require you to get on a plane and fly across the world. “We are called to be on mission wherever we are. We don’t have to think of serving the Lord by going to a foreign culture or nation. The people who need to hear about God’s love are right there in our own families, our own workplace, wherever we are,” explained Fr. Kubicki.

Saint Therese was a cloistered nun, yet she is considered the co-patron of the missions. “What she shows us is that wherever we are—even if we’re in a nursing home bed or homebound—we can be a missionary by praying for the missions, by praying for missionaries, and by supporting them by offering up our sufferings for them. Or, if God has blessed us with resources, we can share those resources with the Church in other parts of the world.”

Are you sharing the Good News of Christ by how you live your life? How can you be a missionary in everyday places – at home, work, school, or even the grocery store?