Our apostolic identity
We need to process this basic truth of faith about ourselves, channeling and assimilating it into our very consciousness and instincts, because we often take this essential aspect of our identity for granted.
Especially now, with all the absorbing and riveting things around, we tend to forget that we should always have an apostolic concern that we ought to pursue with utmost zeal. Without this apostolic concern, we would be distorting if not betraying our human and Christian identity.
We have to be apostolic because that is how we are by our very nature. With our intelligence and will and all our other faculties, powers and endowments we have, we are meant and enabled to enter into relation with others, with everybody else, in fact.
It should be a relation marked by love, by concern, by desire to help and be helped, to lead and be led to what is our good in all its levels and aspects, until we all reach the ultimate good who is God.
This nature-based apostolic concern is even more reinforced when we put into play the truths of faith. Our Christian faith, for example, tells us that Christ commands us to love everybody else as he himself has loved us. (cfr. Jn 13,34) He even commands us to love our enemies. (cfr. Mt 5,44)
And those words of his, addressed first to his original apostles, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you,” (Mt 28,19-20), are also meant for all of us. To be truly Christian is to be apostolic also.
We have to keep these words close to our mind and heart so we can conform ourselves to them. From these words, we should draw the conclusion that we have to be apostolic all the time, even when we are alone and isolated. We can always do that because we can at least pray and offer sacrifices for the others, and that already would be being apostolic.
In other words, our apostolic concern should have a universal coverage. No one should be exempted from such concern. We have to train ourselves to be thoughtful of the others, and to always feel the urge to help them in some way. More importantly, we have to know how to bring them to Christ, how to make them realize the primordial importance of taking care of their spiritual life.
Also, our apostolic concern can always take advantage of any situation, whether we are working or resting, at home or in the office, doing business or politics, etc. In fact, everything in our life should have an apostolic end. More than that, these situations would lack their real value if they fail to attend to the apostolic possibilities they contain.
Our call to holiness will always involve our duty to be apostolic. Sanctity and apostolate cannot be separated. This is simply because to be with Christ, to be another Christ as we ought to be, we have to be involved in Christ’s continuing work of redemption. Our sanctification cannot be deprived of its apostolic duty.
We have to realize ever more deeply that to feel this urge to be an apostle and to do apostolate all the time, we have to be vitally united and identified with Christ. We cannot overemphasize the need for us to truly pray and meditate on Christ’s life and teaching so that we can acquire the very mind and heart of Christ, his very desire and spirit.
Of course, we also need to avail ourselves of the sacraments where that mysterious, ineffable identification of ourselves with Christ takes place because of the grace that the sacraments give us. This is especially so when we have recourse to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.