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Nourishment on Mission

Blog Headers 2023-24 (4)

Editor’s Note: Lay missioner Victor Artaiz relates to Jesus’ moments of rest and prayer in Scripture by sharing his own moments of prayerful reflection on mission.

Entering into the 22nd month of my mission journey here in Bolivia, I began to reflect on how Jesus and holy scripture continue to light my path and provide the spiritual nourishment for this camino, this journey.

Jesus went alone to the mountains and other secluded places to pray and spend time with the Father. We missioners do this as well. Whether it be quiet times early in our rooms, making journeys to near or faraway hills, bodies of water, or open fields of wheat, we Franciscan-enthused lay missioners find ourselves in God’s loving creation and company. It is there where forgiveness is found, where the vital rest of our minds and hearts can be nourished in quiet contemplation with our Creator. The various churches and chapels provide communal spaces to pray and worship at Mass and adoration too! We are reminded of just how far we have come from our months of thorough Franciscan Formation, living at the Casa, and being accompanied by such knowledgeable colleagues, friends, and presenters.

After the multiplication of loaves—“And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray” (Mark 6:46). 

Immediately before choosing his twelve apostles—“In these days he went into the hills to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).

This rest frees our minds of worldly anxieties and sheds light on where our next steps lead us. Here in Cochabamba, those destinations are accompanying men in prison, children without parents, the city’s homeless, struggling families who live in the campo (countryside) and other colleagues trying to get it “right” on their own mission journeys.

Entering into the season of our American holiday of Thanksgiving, this reflection confirms that Christ has His yoke upon me and fills me with peace and humility through daily, prayerful contemplation. For that, I am beyond grateful to be sent and to share that life-giving faith with others.

Question for Reflection: Where is your favorite place for prayer or quiet reflection?

After a 30 year career in international business and serving communities in Kenya and locally in New Haven, CT, Victor Artaiz is grateful for the opportunity to serve and accompany individuals living on the margins in mutuality and simplicity through FMS’ Overseas Lay Missioner program. Victor's ministries in Cochabamba, Bolivia, include addiction recovery services, accompanying men who are incarcerated, and serving meals to people experiencing hunger.