This is the age of globalization, and the whole world has become like one big village. We are using modern technology and transportation to transfer our opinions and travel from one place to another very frequently and quickly.
People are very much interested in urbanization and living with modern facilities. In many different cultures, people live together and exchange the beauty and values of their traditions and religions.
People became structured, modern, and strangers. In the present time, we need to remind ourselves that the Church is the Church of Mission to all creation.
The Church is missionary by her very nature
The Church is missionary: "The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature since it is from the mission of the Son and the mission of the Holy Spirit that she draws her origin, in accordance with the decree of God the Father" (Ad Gentes #2).
To understand the Church and its mission in the world, we need to focus on the command and demand of Jesus Christ (Church, Mystical Body of Christ). Missionary activity should help the social and economic welfare of people, not force anyone to accept the faith. Jesus said to his disciples: "Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to all creation" (Mk. 16:15), and the Apostles "went forth and preached everywhere" (Mk. 16:20). This is the way to build up the community, the church.
The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. "For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that one body are many, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and we have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:12-13).
There are many cultures, nations, and tongues of people in the Church. We have seen the beginning of the Church on the day of Pentecost and listened to the homily of St. Peter.
There were different kinds of people who changed their minds, received baptism, and became members of the Church (cf. Acts 2:1-12; 38-39). There was an invitation to listen to the Good News: "Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins."
"Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you and to all the Gentiles whom the Lord God has called" (Acts 2:38-39). This is proof that the church is united in diversity. The work of the Church stems from the different gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom. 6:6-8).
The Missionary Impulse
Evangelii Gaudium, the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, invites every Christian to the mission.
"The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness, and loneliness. With Christ, joy is constantly born anew. I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come" (Evangelii Gaudium #1).
Pope Francis says, "I dream of a missionary option, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation" (Evangelii Gaudium #27).
We (the church) must have a missionary attitude in every activity in the post-modern world in the global village.
Pope Francis' initiative and work as the head of the Catholic Church demonstrate the importance of carrying out Jesus Christ's works, commands, and demands in the modern world.
Fulfilling the mission of the Church requires dialogue with others
Why is dialogue our way of doing missions in the present situation of the world?
We are seeing and experiencing the present situation of globalization in the world. The world is changing because of climate change, pandemics, and war in the world.
People are becoming homeless and are migrating to cities and countries. Migration is a global reality and brings with it multiculturality and multi-religiousness to the cities. We find difference, diversity, and polarity in the global village for our mission today. To approach this situation and do our mission, we need to dialogue.
We see that God Himself creates the human being through dialogue: "Let us make humankind in our own image" (cf. Gen. 1:26). That creates something meaningful and beautiful. I need to go for dialogue.
Jesus also does his mission work with dialogue and calls different kinds of people to be his disciples (cf. Mk. 1:16-20; cf. Mk. 2:13). He dialogues with a Samaritan woman and reveals the messiah (cf. Jn. 4:4–31). Disciples are also sent to preach the good news to different communities (cf. Mk. 6:6-13; Lk. 10:1-12).
We cannot preach the good news and build relationships with others without good communication and relationship-building skills. We are living in the global village and the age of science and technology.
We can go to others and make a conversion to the present situation in the world and discuss the moral values of the present situation. It can become our preaching field and we can preach the values of the Gospel.
Our mission will be to communicate and build relationships that begin with dialogue.
Understand others through respectful dialogue
Because of the global situation, people of many cultures and religions are living in the same buildings and areas.
Many are also disappointed and become sick, especially mentally, and require compassion and help from others.
We (the church) have a special concern for poor people. We can have good communication with a respectful mind and attitude. We can listen to them carefully and show loving concern.
This can be our present mission, which begins with dialogue. To preach the gospel values to others in the post-modern world, we have to dialogue with others (cultures, religions, and the poor).
By the virtue of baptism, we become children of God, disciples of Jesus, and members of the Church (mystical body of Christ). We have received the authority to preach the good news to others, to express the merciful God and His everlasting love to the entire creation (cf. Mk.16:15), and to bear witness to Christ (cf. Acts 1:8).
The world will see and experience God and His love through me and us. Our dialogue will be about the presence of God in their cultures, religions, and the poor.
We need to understand the nature of the missionary church. Only through dialogue can we have a good relationship with other people, be salt and light to them, and establish the kingdom of God in this world.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.