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Monday, May 3, 2010

Following Jesus as Friends and Disciples

Family Day Message-09

‘Following Jesus as Friends and Disciples’. This is the guiding thought of our Family Day this year 2009. Who is a friend-and-disciple-of-Jesus? Let the story below help answer the question.

Once upon a time, so says the story, there was ruler who had a magic ring. He was much loved by his subjects. It was said that he was so noble and excellent in character, and therefore much loved, because of that magic ring. It was a ring that was passed down through the ages from one ruler to the next.

Now, this beloved ruler had three children. And he loved each child with an equal love. He became bothered by the following thought: to whom will the magic ring be passed on when he dies? To the eldest …to the middle one…or to the last born? –since as we said, the ruler loved each one truly, deeply, and equally?

He commissioned the jeweller of the kingdom to make two other rings in exactly the same fashion as the ring he wore. And before he passed away, he secretly handed each of his three children a ring. Soon after, the ruler died.

It did not take long before the three siblings found out that each had a ring. Who would be the next ruler? Who had the true ring? They took the case to a Wise Man of the realm. This is what the wise man said: “You yourselves, each one of you, can prove which the magic ring is, and who the next ruler will be. It will be the one whose character is noble and excellent. Go your ways, therefore: be good, be kind, be brave, be truthful, live wisely, love much, and be just in your dealings. Remember, the matter will be proved by the manner of your lives!”

We MJ’s have never wanted to posses the title friends and disciples for ourselves. Our thoughts go back to those days when we MJs were struggling to survive. Who helped us to our feet? Who encouraged us? Who gave us a pat on our backs? Our families! Our friends! Our mission partners! When you share our concerns, when you have the missionary spirit of MJ … you are a friend and disciple of Jesus. We are missionaries where God puts us. We MJs in the field. You in your homes, in your workplaces, in your neighborhoods. That is because the matter is proved by the manner of your lives. Go your ways, therefore. Be good, be kind, be brave, be truthful, live wisely, love much, and be just in your dealings. Be a friend and disciple of Jesus.

- Fr. Manny Gacad, MJ
MJ-USA Superior

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