Friday, July 14, 2023
Here I would to regressed into the words of the Late Salvatore Pacifico whom I personally encountered him for many times, first during the Holy Cross Shambe Pilgrimage Yirol East County of Lakes State and in the Pre-postulancy period. I would term to called the late a true Christian Missionary. It turns out this is not an easy question to answer
it’s kind of a loaded question whose answer really depends on how you use the term “Christian missionary”.

Some people use the term conventionally and by “Christian missionary” they mean those who answer the call of God and go to foreign lands to advance the gospel. In this view, Fr. Salvatore was a Christian missionary, and it true he left his country or home town and came to Sudan and South Sudan to preach the Gospel. We need to be careful to emphasize Fr. Salvatore involvement in advancing the gospel. I would say it and use the term Christian Missionary in such a way that God’s own “him as a Christian missionary” in the world the word is only known for those who go far, far away from their home and the Fr. Salvatore did it in an extremely manner.

Fr. Salvatore Pacifico came as a Father and to saved his people, the church of Sudan and South Sudan, from among all the peoples of the world. All of us as his former students and believers have heard the gospel and were raised to life by the pouring out of the love of God into our hearts. We then received the Holy Spirit and were simultaneously incorporated into the fellowship of the Spirit. By virtue of this incorporation, we have been uniquely prepared to fellowship not just with God but with one another. So, whenever Christians live together in fellowship, it constitutes local churches that display the gospel through our lives and worship. Fr. Salvatore would remind me during his existence that, the church is Christ’s Body, uniquely prepared by God in Christ and equipped with the power of God’s in dwelling Spirit for acts of service toward one another and our neighbors, both here and abroad.

Fr. Salvatore could on talking about the Christ’s Body the church works. He said, Churches are outposts of the coming Kingdom of God. Until that Kingdom fully comes, God wants the church to express submission to the reign of King Jesus in all peace while laboring to advance his rule throughout all creation. He once took the book of Acts and shown to us during his catechism and said, that God’s continued activity in the world is for this purpose. God wants his people to worship him in purity, unstained by the world, to live with one another in love, and to proclaim his gospel everywhere.

He went on saying, God has not left us alone to accomplish this task. Through the Spirit, he has equipped us to do what he wants, and through the Spirit’s in dwelling he transforms us slowly, gloriously into the image of Christ. What’s more, this Spirit has gifted to the church servants who help his people know where and how to act. He has also given to each of us spiritual gifts so that we would find our “fit” in this comprehensive work. Fr. Salvatore was a real Christian missionary and man of God who dwells more on the Christ teaching.

Fr. Salvatore Pacifico with postulants in South Sudan.

God’s ‘’Mission’’. Once in Lomin during our Pre-postulancy period he said this to us, God has done all of this, and he continues doing all of this, so that his greatness will fill the earth. He will not rest until he has saved a people for his great name, a people from every tribe and tongue and nation. We call this God’s “mission” in the world, the work he’s determined to accomplish. He said it while preaching during our Adoration time.

He said this mission is ultimately God’s, even as it’s designed to be worked out in and through God’s church. Everyone who follows Jesus as Lord is commanded to make disciples of Jesus. To be sure, our opportunities of service will vary. We all have our apportioned times and places vocations that are to be stewarded within the context of specific “stations” of our lives (family, singleness, church membership, citizenship, etc.).

Though our specific situations may vary, the calling to be a disciple never does: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me”. After Jesus was raised from the dead, he charged his followers to join his mission by proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God across land and sea to every people group on the earth. Every barrier that exists between humans is overcome in Christ; thus the gospel of Jesus destroys barriers of class, ethnicity, gender, religion, geopolitics, language, shame, and fear so that humans can be fully reconciled to God and to one another, said by Fr. Salvatore Pacifico.

Fr. Salvatore said, regardless of the labels we use, let’s all determine afresh that we will follow our Lord and Savior to do our part in God’s mission. As we obey him, we will all cross barriers of some kind with the gospel. God will uproot some of us from where we are so that we can obey him by carrying the barrier-crossing gospel to where it is currently unknown. In conventional usage, though those who stay and those who go are both obedient in advancing the gospel, only the latter have been called “missionaries.” But both are necessary. Think about it: if the redemption accomplished by Jesus is so radically great that its effects are to authoritatively blow down the barriers to every nation of the world, then I should also certainly cross the street to share the gospel with the family in my neighborhood that is hard for me to love.

I remembered one day during the rosary prayer; he asked a question and gave some inputs of being called a servant. He went on and said, Are you a servant in the example of Christ in your circles of influence? In what ways are you serving others as a neighbor, friend, family member, teacher, prepostulant or priest?

He said we are children of the heavenly Father and disciples of Jesus, who did not consider glory a thing to grasped, but who humbled himself to die on the a cross. Because of Jesus, we offer ourselves as living sacrifice so that the name and kingdom of God are made know.

In conclusion, “a Christian Missionary” is simply an extra-biblical term that has linguistic roots in the idea of “being sent”. It has been coined by many scholars and label it biblical in concepts. Whether that concept is the conventional idea of crossing cultural and linguistic barriers in order to make disciples of all people or the missional idea of all Christian Missionary making disciples wherever they are, we should not use labels in such a way that either of these biblical concepts disappear.

Fr. Salvatore Pacifico was a great man of God who valved the Rosary as a tool to demonstrate the existence of our Mary Mother of Jesus, may his soul, St Daniel Comboni and St Josephine Bakhita intercede for us.

Instead, let’s follow Jesus faithfully and obediently. Let’s follow him in our homes, across our streets and to the poorest and most overlooked in our country South Sudan, to the most unreached and most difficult places in the uttermost parts of the earth.
By Tito Tong John