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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Funding For Mission (Financial Stewardship Part 3)

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Today’s reading: 3 John 5-8

In today’s short letter, John appeals to Gaius to support missionaries in their work. This is something that could very well be addressed to each and every Christian.

The Church is missionary. Her work is to bring the gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth, as is the commission of Jesus to his disciples (Mk 16:15). The Church exists to evangelize and to do mission. Every committed Christian is to be an evangelizer. Lay ecclesial communities send out missionaries who go to places other than their own hometowns or countries in order to expand the work.

Thus there are missions to all parts of the world. Lay communities actually could do so much more, as there are very many opportunities open, but a major hindering factor is the lack of money. That is such a shame. This divine work, this mission of bringing the Lord’s salvation to others, this great privilege given to us, is something we are unable to do to the fullest because of such a mundane thing as money.

But if God called us to do mission, would we not expect Him to provide for our needs? Indeed, whenever there is an authentic call of God, He will provide for what is needed. So where is the money? Why has God not provided? Well, God has already provided, and the money is already there, but it remains in the wallets and purses of His people.

If there is not enough money for mission, it is because of the selfishness of people. No, it is not just selfishness. It is outright theft of what belongs to God. And so it is that God through the prophet Malachi accused His people of robbing Him (Mal 3:8).

What should we do, if we are to be authentic disciples of Jesus, if we are to live out our calling to participate in the work of our missionary Church and communities? Well, let us heed John’s words to Gaius.

  • We must be faithful to God and to His call to mission. “Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers” (v.5). “All we do” includes our financial support.

  • We must assist our community in providing for the resources needed for our missionaries to continue with their work, and in fact to expand our missionary force. “Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.” (v.6b). God is the one who raises ecclesial movements, and is the one who sends forth their missionaries. But God depends on us to cooperate in this sending by providing the means.

  • We must appreciate and be thankful for the work and sacrifices of our missionaries. They are a special breed of disciples. They are brethren who have given their all for the cause of Christ and hold nothing back. “For they have set out for the sake of the Name” (v.7a). We must be cognizant of their work and keep them always in our prayers.

  • Given that we ourselves might not have the opportunity or the personal situation that allows us to become such missionaries, we can still participate in mission through our financial support. In the mystery of God’s ways, we then become co-workers with these missionaries. “Therefore, we ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth.” (v.8). Imagine, for giving what belongs to God anyway, while remaining in the comfort of our homes, we can actually participate in missionary work!

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