The word “mission” may sound confusing in the world of today. It is fraught with conquest, crusade, dominion, and empire stories. But this word is just like a heartbeat for our Church. The Good News “pulsed” like a gush of blood bringing us to life. “These Christians don’t come as conquerors,” Pope Francis asserts while calling to work on a “new evangelization.” The Church has to endlessly convert to conform herself to what she announces. The Church will never convince anybody unless her missionaries dedicate their lives to their brothers and sisters by selfgiving, living like Jesus, in the gang of apostles. In a global world, considering the influence of secularization and facing the risk of relativism, the Christian faith, especially the one taught and witnessed by the Catholic Church, could let itself dilute in this “dialogue of plurals.” The route of a Church opened to dialogue changes the Church and changes the mission. “Dialogue is not a matter of strategy or means to convince. It is a matter of faith.” How can one accept to be changed? It is possible by being more akin to Jesus in this new world, by humbly asking for the water he was offered in Samaria. Carry Jesus Christ without brandishing him like a banner. Live of Christ without being full of one’s self. Be a witness of his Love without showing off. Talk about God without deafening the person you are speaking to. Love the faraway by first begging their love discreetly.
Father Jacques LECLERC du SABLON was born in 1949 in France. He is an agronomist and a Catholic priest of ‘Mission de France’ (www.missiondefrance. fr). After being ordained in 1977, he was sent off to Tanzania, where he worked for ten years on projects in agricultural training and rural development in the poorest region of the country. Later he was assigned in Mission de France’s seminary. From 1989 to 2011, he lived in the People’s Republic of China where he taught Economics in Agricultural Universities, becoming a Senior Executive in a French agro-industrial Company operating in China, and getting appointed as General Manager of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China. Since 2013 he has been serving in the Archdiocese of Manila as Spiritual Director for Chinese ecclesiastical students (young priests, nuns, and seminarians) who come from Mainland China to study theology and religious sciences. He holds a Master’s degree in theology and agronomy as well as a degree in Chinese language and civilization.