Prompted by the Holy Spirit: Being a missionary in the world of Sports.
Sports is a dominant and dominating event in our present day society. Usain Bolt, for winning 9 record breaking gold medals in three consecutive Olympics, has become a celebrity and a figure that many look up to for inspiration. Ronaldo and Messi have mastered the game of soccer so well in the last decade that they have become the measure of all footballers and the game of football itself. In fact, the Ronaldo–Messi phenomenon is so interesting that it has led to fighting and even the death of fans who argue between themselves about who might be greater between the two.
But can this world be seen as fulfilling and in no need of assistance? As I saw this topic, my thoughts for many weeks revolved around the lyrics of the popular song to the Holy Spirit, that, “Spirit of God every man's heart is lonely Watching and waiting and hungry until Spirit of God, man longs that you only fulfill the earth, bring it to birth, and blow where you will. Blow, blow, blow till I be but the breath of the Spirit blowing in me.” Every aspect of human life needs the support of God’s word; a word that according to Paul’s Ephesians penetrates and touches every aspect of human existence just the way a sharp double edged sword pierces smoothly and can pierce through and through with thoroughness and precision. Without focusing only on the celebrities who earn millions, I wish to say that we as missionaries can use sports as a valid instrumentum et modus laboris (tool and manner of work) to get close to people just as Jesus in the gospels had to mingle with many in non religious circles. In fact, he called his disciples from those non religious contexts.
Thus, as missionaries, we can also consider the invitation of John Paul II: “Do not be afraid". Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. _____ Samuel Anjah, CMF [West Nigeria Independent Delegation]
MS 1 (Cf. CC 2; Dir 26.)