Passion for Jesus, passion to encounter his people | Homily for the Opening of the Meeting of the General Definitory with Ministers from Asia

The Meeting of the General Definitory with the Franciscan Conferences of Asia and Oceania (FCAO) Ministers began with the Opening Eucharistic Celebration on February 10, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.  Br. Gregory Redoblado, General Definitor from FCAO shared these words at Mass:

As we begin this historic meeting of the FCAO Ministers and Secretaries with the Minister General and the Definitory, it is an opportune time to reflect and renew our vocation as friars minor and more so our vocation within a vocation: as Ministers for our brothers in Asia, Australia and Oceania.

In the first place, we need to “go out into the deep” and recall constantly our very own vocation story. By such personal remembering, we can be reminded that our vocation is all about God and his mission to love. Sometimes with the many concerns that we have, God is discarded out of the picture, appropriating the work and mission as our own.

Secondly, we reflect upon Simon Peter’s total response. The Gospel says, “he followed the Lord leaving everything”. Following and leaving everything is a serious and radical response. It entails renunciation abandoning his net and his boat. We enter religious life not for an easy and comfortable life but a missionary life that includes challenges and difficulties.

Finally, Simon Peter’s vocation remind us also to continue catching fish. There is a general crisis of vocation in the whole world. But according to Pope Francis in his homily during the World Day of consecrated life, “Consecrated life is not about survival, it is not about preparing ourselves for the art of dying well (ars bene moriendi): this is the temptation of our days, in the face of declining vocations. No it is not about survival, but new life. It is a living encounter with the Lord and his people…”  It is passion for Jesus, passion to encounter his people, especially the poor! It means that we should continue to catch fish by obediently living our daily life. While Asia is considered as a growing region in the Order, we should not take this call to catch people for granted.


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