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Jesus Youth Professionals Ministry

Who is a Professional?

A professional has a career based on specialized educational training. Usually, they have obtained a degree in a professional field, such as medicine, law, engineering and social work. In a general sense the term may refer to a white collar worker, or a person who performs commercially in a field typically reserved for hobbyists or amateurs. Because of the personal and confidential nature of many professional services and as there is necessity to place a great deal of trust in them, most professionals are held up to strict ethical and moral regulations.

A Professional is a worker. And what is the meaning of work?

(from "Compendium of the Social doctrine of the Church")
  • Human work not only proceeds from the person, but it is also essentially ordered to and has its final goal in the human person... it is possible to affirm that work is for man and not man for work (272).
  • Human work also has an intrinsic social dimension. A person's work, in fact, is naturally connected with that of other people. Today "more than ever, work is work with others and work for others. It is a matter of doing something for someone else" The fruits of work offer occasions for exchange, relationship and encounter (273).
  • Work is also "an obligation, that is to say, a duty on the part of man". Man must work, both because the Creator has commanded it and in order to respond to the need to maintain and develop his own humanity. Work is presented as a moral obligation with respect to one's neighbour, which in the first place is one's own family, but also the society to which one belongs, the nation of which one is son or daughter, the entire human family of which one is member. We are heirs of the work of generations and at the same time shapers of the future of all who will live after us (274).
  • Work is a fundamental right and a good for mankind... Work is needed to form and maintain a family, to have a right to property, to contribute to the common good of the human family (287).

We work to make a living. What should be our attitude to wealth?

(from "Rerum Novarum", Encyclical of Pp Leo XIII - 1891)
  • Private ownership... is the natural right of man, and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence."
  • But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? -- the Church replies without hesitation in the words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the apostle saith, 'Command the rich of this world . . to offer with no stint, to apportion largely'." (22)

A Profession, more than work and wealth, is a mission in the world

(from Vat II: Lumen Gentium)
  • By their very vocation, (they) seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven.
  • They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven. In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity.
  • Therefore, since they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs it is their special task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may come into being and then continually increase according to Christ to the praise of the Creator and the Redeemer. (31)

To live this special call and fulfill this unique mission a Professional needs a different spirituality

(from Vat II: Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity - AA)
  • This plan for the spiritual life of the laity should take its particular character from their married or family state or their single or widowed state, from their state of health, and from their professional and social activity.
  • They should not cease to develop earnestly the qualities and talents bestowed on them in accord with these conditions of life, and they should make use of the gifts which they have received from the Holy Spirit.
  • They should also hold in high esteem professional skill, family and civic spirit, and the virtues relating to social customs, namely, honesty, justice, sincerity, kindness, and courage, without which no true Christian life can exist. (AA,4)

This mission of a professional is so important for fulfilling Church's mission in the world

  • The apostolate in the social milieu, that is, the effort to infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws, and structures of the community in which one lives, is so much the duty and responsibility of the laity that it can never be performed properly by others.
  • The laity fulfill this mission of the Church in the world especially by conforming their lives to their faith so that they become the light of the world as well as by practicing honesty in all their dealings so that they attract all to the love of the true and the good and finally to the Church and to Christ. (AA, 13)

This mission has broader and deeper dimensions

  • A vast field for the apostolate has opened up on the national and international levels where the laity especially assist with their Christian wisdom. ... Catholics skilled in public affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian doctrine should not refuse to administer public affairs since by doing this in a worthy manner they can both further the common good and at the same time prepare the way for the Gospel.
  • Catholics should try to cooperate with all men and women of good will to promote whatever is true, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable (cf. Phil. 4:8). They should hold discussions with them, excel them in prudence and courtesy, and initiate research on social and public practices which should be improved in line with the spirit of the Gospel. (AA, 14)

Mother Church urges each one of us to live our special call in its fullness

(from "Christifidelis Laici" by John Paul II)
  • Indeed as a person with a truly unique lifestory, each is called by name, to make a special contribution to the coming of the Kingdom of God. No talent, no matter how small, is to be hidden or left unused (cf. Mt 25:24-27).
  • In this regard the apostle Peter gives us a stern warning: "As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Pt 4:10). (CL, 56)

There is need for a continuing formation for discernment of a daily 'call' and for living it

  • The fundamental objective of the formation of the lay faithful is an ever-clearer discovery of one's vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfil one's mission.
  • God calls me and sends me forth as a labourer in his vineyard. He calls me and sends me forth to work for the coming of his Kingdom in history. This personal vocation and mission defines the dignity and the responsibility of each member of the lay faithful and makes up the focal point of the whole work of formation, whose purpose is the joyous and grateful recognition of this dignity and the faithful and generous living-out of this responsibility.
  • In fact, from eternity God has thought of us and has loved us as unique individuals. Every one of us he called by name, as the Good Shepherd "calls his sheep by name" (Jn 10:3). However, only in the unfolding of the history of our lives and its events is the eternal plan of God revealed to each of us. Therefore, it is a gradual process; in a certain sense, one that happens day by day.
  • To be able to discover the actual will of the Lord in our lives always involves the following: a receptive listening to the Word of God and the Church, fervent and constant prayer, recourse to a wise and loving spiritual guide, and a faithful discernment of the gifts and talents given by God, as well as the diverse social and historic situations in which one lives.
  • Therefore, in the life of each member of the lay faithful there are particularly significant and decisive moments for discerning God's call and embracing the mission entrusted by Him. Among these are the periods of adolescence and young adulthood. No one must forget that the Lord, as the master of the labourers in the vineyard, calls at every hour of life so as to make his holy will more precisely and explicitly known. Therefore, the fundamental and continuous attitude of the disciple should be one of vigilance and a conscious attentiveness to the voice of God.
  • It is not a question of simply knowing what God wants from each of us in the various situations of life. The individual must do what God wants, as we are reminded in the words that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, addressed to the servants at Cana: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). However, to act in fidelity to God's will requires a capability for acting and the developing of that capability. We can rest assured that this is possible through the free and responsible collaboration of each of us with the grace of the Lord which is never lacking. Saint Leo the Great says: "The one who confers the dignity will give the strength!". (CL, 58)

There is a grave danger of a "split life": an 'integrated life' is the secret of effective mission

  • In discovering and living their proper vocation and mission, the lay faithful must be formed according to the union which exists from their being members of the Church and citizens of human society.
  • There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called "spiritual" life, with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called "secular" life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social relationships, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture. ... Every activity, every situation, every precise responsibility-as, for example, skill and solidarity in work, love and dedication in the family and the education of children, service to society and public life and the promotion of truth in the area of culture-are the occasions ordained by Providence for a "continuous exercise of faith, hope and charity".
  • The Second Vatican Council has invited all the lay faithful to this unity of life by forcefully decrying the grave consequences in separating faith from life, and the gospel from culture: "The Council exhorts Christians, as citizens of one city and the other, to strive to perform their earthly duties faithfully in response to the spirit of the Gospel. They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities; for they are forgetting that by faith itself they are more than ever obliged to measure up to these duties, each according to one's vocation ...
  • "This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age". Therefore, I have maintained that a faith that does not affect a person's culture is a faith "not fully embraced, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived". (CL, 59)

Jesus Youth Professional Ministry has a special role of formation in and guidance for Mission

(from "Compendium of the Social doctrine of the Church")

The various specialized associations that gather people together in the name of their Christian vocation and mission within a particular professional or cultural field have a precious role to play in forming mature Christians. For example, a Catholic association of doctors forms those who belong to it through the exercise of discernment with regard to the many problems that medical science, biology and other sciences place before the professional competence of doctors, as well as before their personal conscience and faith. The same could be also said of Catholic associations of teachers, legal professionals, businessmen and women, workers, as well as Catholic sports associations and ecological associations and so forth. In this context, the Church's social doctrine shows that it is an effective means for forming individual consciences and a country's culture. (550)

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