Jesus’ Mission Never Dies

Pope Benedict XVI just after taking over the Papacy reminded the Christians by saying, “You have before you the task of seeking new ways to announce Christ in situations of rapid and often profound transformation, and of emphasizing the missionary character of all pastoral activity." It has to be placed against the background of the allegation that Churches are becoming increasingly commercialized with little interest for the mission of Jesus and there is very little hope of revival of mission. My recent interactions with a few new ways of announcing Christ’s message made me to think that it is not all true that the whole Church is commercialized and mission is dead. 


I came across a Catholic Priest who named himself Swami Sevand. His real name is Fr. Paul Chungath (Sagar Diocese, M.P, India) with doctorate in spirituality, missiology and perusing a third doctorate in Eucharist from an Indian theological college. The bare footed saffron clad priest says, his mission started with a year long pilgrimage to 21 Christian Ashrams spread from Kanyakumari to Himalayas. He says people of all religions flock to him for blessings and seeks divine guidance. People have no fear that he has come to convert them to Catholic Church.  He lives in a small hurt(Shanti Ashram, Kamradev, Sagar, M.P, India) in the midst of people in prayer, manual work and a few hours of rest. Fr. Robin Pullokaran, the Vicar General of Sagar Diocese says that the life of Swami Sevand is really inspiring. The diocese has kept open this type of options for priests and a few priests have come forward to opt for similar missions.


I found some of the religious congregations using facebook to get across to youth for the purpose of vocation promotion.  But here I found one of the most creative mission minds working with one of the novel ways to give word of God to youths and the elite class. He started a centre/club with many facilities including coffee, snacks, free internet, library for books, music, videos games, pool tables etc. He made it a good place for the youth and elite classes to spend their free time. All those who want avail these services need to take membership. The members get some services free of cost and other paid. The word of God is open to them in different forms and he says a few are getting attracted to Jesus. The person who experiment this newer method is a Lay Minister (He prefers to remain behind the scene) who runs a mission with above two hundred evangelists but still believes that God has not called him to be an ordained minister.


The third worth mentioning is the mobile missions started by the Sisters of Jesus, a religious order based in Sagar Diocese with convents in different parts India.    Fr. Robin Pullokaran says that two nuns (Sr. Vinaya and Sr. Rani) in their religious habit live in a small house given by the villagers (Semrahurt, Sagar, M.P, India). Their entire life is revolved around prayer, helping people and a few hours of rest. They hold common prayer every day and many people from the village join them. People do not have the fear of conversion.  They freely approach them to know about Jesus. Realizing the works of the Holy Spirit they have started a new mobile mission in Mohanpur a remote village in Guna District of M.P. The nuns have named this type of evangelization as mobile missions because they plan to move out to new villages every year.  


I placed here a few examples of growing missions in the North India. We need to believe that Holy Spirit inspires a few at every age to spread his message. It is a fact that when the sower scatters seeds only a few falls on the good ground which brings hundred folds. The mission of Jesus will never die but will live forever through his chosen ones. 

Fr. Anand Muttungal
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