The mission identifies us in the Church as persons consecrated to God and to the young and “sets the tenor of our whole life” (C 3). “By carrying out this mission we find our own way to holiness” (C 2). Francis J. Moloney offers us two reflections for our prayer. In the first, we contemplate our service to the young as a service to Christ in the very first place, and in the second, our apostolic ministry as a service without measure.
The episode of the first multiplication of the loaves describes Jesus being moved by compassion to feed the crowd and paying little heed to his disciples’ unavailability. Only when they put at his disposal the little they have, Jesus works the miracle: the scarcity of food is no excuse for not feeding a multitude. The disciples have to learn that in order to serve people they have to give Jesus everything, however little it might be, so as to enable him to give it all to others.
The apostolic ministry, as Paul confides to the restless Christians of Corinth, requires the total gift of oneself. And to give oneself totally, the apostle has to be totally free. To maintain the gratuitous nature of his message, the messenger has to give up even his noblest and most inalienable rights. His honour and his salary consist in his being able to work for the gospel: being an apostle is a task and a recompense, a responsibility and a reward. Preaching is not an option but an inescapable obligation. Since he is bound inseparably to the gospel, he must proclaim it, forgetting about himself, provided he can gain someone (!) for Christ.