When most of us think about being a missionary, people like Bishop Baraga, Billy Graham, Father Junipero Serra, or Fulton Sheen, and Saint John Paul II come to mind.
We may think of our pastors, bishops, and other ministers, priests and nuns. When I think of missionaries, I often think of Father Peter, our previous pastor who came from Nigeria in Africa to be our pastor. I also think of Msgr. Koper, who while retired, drives from Gladwin to minister to us. We are blessed and grateful.
As a child, I read stories of missionaries who travelled to India, Africa, and China to bring the Word of God. I dreamed that one day, God would call me to be a great missionary. He didn’t and I’m not.
Not all of us are called to go long distances to be missionaries or evangelists, but all of us are called to be missionaries and evangelists in small ways. The ways that no one is ever going to know about but you, God, and maybe one other person. There will be no medals, no standing ovation, no recognition, and little gratitude. No one gets honored for sewing on a button, or donating to rummage sale, or visiting a shut-in, donating blood, helping with housework. No one gets noticed for taking out the garbage, giving someone a ride, or raking a lawn.
There is no glory in meeting someone for coffee or spending time with a grandparent. There are no pats on the back for calling someone you miss. That is thinking small. No one can do everything, but all of us can so something. We can change the world one act of kindness at a time.
You are called by your baptism to be a priest, prophet and king. You are called to be a hero, in small ways. Jesus showed us how to do it at the last supper. He gave us the example of thinking small when he washed feet.
By thinking small, doing little things regularly, we are following his example. By doing little things we say yes to sanctifying people. We share God’s Word and love and take part in the kingship of God.
If all of us do the small things that the Holy Spirit is asking, great things will happen! These small acts of kindness will be like seeds that grow into mighty trees. Think small. Plant seeds of kindness. Don’t worry that someone may notice or not. As my dear step-mother used to say, “You get your reward when you get to heaven.”
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”