The call of Jesus is for all …
by Fr. Gustavo Buccilli, SMA
Every time that I listen to Jesus saying in the gospel that we should leave family, goods and everything to follow him, I think first about those who have been called to the consecrated life, like priests, monks, or religious sisters or brothers. But paying close attention to what Jesus says, the call is for all disciples, for all Christians.
Mohamed K. was born and grew up here in Monrovia, Liberia. His parents are Muslims and they came to Monrovia when they were young. His father is from Guinea and his mother from the northern region of Liberia. They educated all their children in the Islamic faith. The father is the imam in one of the mosques of Paynesville, but also has other businesses in association with members of his family.
Ever since he was a small child, Mohamed went to the Islamic school, learned all the prayers from the Koran, celebrated the Muslim holidays and practiced the fast that his faith prescribed. As a good Muslim, he used to pray that one day he would see all Liberians converted to Islam. Also he was involved in the family business, which allowed him to have a very good life.
It has been seven years since Mohamed, according to him, “discovered Jesus Christ” while attending one of the hundred Pentecostal Churches here in Paynesville, a discovery that transformed his life. As he says: “Jesus has freed me. He gave peace to me; now I am happy…”
But as the saying goes, no pain no gain. Mohamed began to realize the reach and consequences of his conversion. He had to move out of his family’s house and was no longer welcome to take part in the family business. His portion of the inheritance was transferred to his brothers. The family stopped talking to him. With all this pain, he said goodbye to his family since his decision to follow Christ was irreversible. From once having everything, he now found himself homeless, depending on some friends until he found a job and was able to get on his feet again.
Mohamed, with pain, said to me: “Father, my mother has not been speaking to me for more than six years. My father and brothers talk to me but not like a son or brother; but like a neighbor, because they no longer consider me part of the family… In this world I am all alone. Only God is with me. He is my Father. He takes care of me. He is all the family that I have in this world.”
Mohamed is one of those who has found a treasure of infinite value, for which they leave everything; and which will never be taken from them.