On the 3rd Sunday of the Ordinary Time, Year A, the Church presents to us Jesus immediately at the very beginning of his public life or instantly after his 40 days in the desert where he was tempted by the devil. Although Matthew is writing to those Jews who have been converted to Christianity, the Evangelist does not hesitate to affirm the fact that the Lord, since the very beginning of his mission, goes to the gentiles to preach to them that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But another reality that Matthew presents at the very beginning of his Gospel is the intimate connection between the consecration and the sending, the call to discipleship and mission.
This intimate relationship between consecration-mission and discipleship-mission is found in all Biblical calls, whether those in the Old and the new Testament: Moses is called to resque the Jewish people from the bondage of Egypt; the prophets are all called to go to the people and encourage them to be converted; Mary is consecrated by the Father so that through the Spirit she may help the Son incarnate among us and for us; and the apostles are all called to be sent.
Joseph De Piro was more than convinced of this duality. Especially in the Saint Paul: Almanac of the Institute of the Missions he always mentioned the sending and/or the mission with the consecration or call:
“… God calls the missionaries in order to continue the spreading of his teaching … wherever there is the human being” (1924, p.21).
“… some youth may be called by God to share the faith with those who do not yet know that the Son of God became man …” (1927, p. 26).
“… the call from on high for the spreading of the Kingdom of Christ on earth” (1933, p. 1).
In the 1932 edition of the Almanac De Piro published the prayer of Pope Pius X for vocations. In it our Founder emphasised that we are praying for those vocations that promote the Kongdom of God on earth (Cf p. 39).
We are not consecrated only for our own sanctity, but also to be sent to others. We are not called only for our own benefit, but also for a mission.