GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, BAPTISING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU; AND BEHOLD, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, TO THE CLOSE OF THE AGE (MATTHEW 28:19-20)
Beloved in the Lord, today being for the Universal Church a day for the celebration of the Mission Mandate and life of the Church in this Special Jubilee Year of Mercy which is gradually winding down, the readings draw our attention to the role we owe Christ as Christians refocusing us on how best to carry out our missionary mandate.
🏼In the first reading from Isaiah (56:1, 6-7), we hear God’s command on us who choose to be part of his people; ‘do what is right and just, for soon I will save you,’ as well as his reassuring promise of leading those who abide by his call to His unique salvation. His assurance is explicit that attaining his reward would not be about the lineage one hails from but about how strongly one chooses to live by His calling loving Him and serving Him, observing the Sabath and keeping His covenant with faithfulness.
In the second reading, St Paul exhorts the converts of Ephesus (Ephesians 3:2-12), reviving their consciousness on the divinely revealed reality that it is through the gospel alone that all humanity gain their access and share in the flock of God’s chosen people. He presents the yardstick of his paradigm shift in life -from being a persecutor of Christianity to becoming a propagator of Christianity, as well as how in this shift he still gained a full share of his membership with God’s people as an example of how readily God eagerly waits to accept us among His people.
And in the gospel (Matthew 28:16-30), the Missionary Mandate which Christ left for his disciples in the last chapter of Matthew’s presentations of the earthly life of Christ is given us. In it we realize that as Christians, God desires that we become active helpers in transforming the world to Himself while reassuring of His eternal presence among His own.
The central message cutting accross today’s readings is that God insists that it is our activeness in living according to the call of his gospel that would yield us his eternal companionship. The questions we owe ourselves, following today’s readings would be to confirm if indeed we are interested in becoming members of God’s flock and winning His eternal reward as members of His family and to seek to understand in how we love out lives today any hitches that hinder our growth in godliness.
Dear Friend, true Christianity is not a life lived in passive attention to the gospel. It is rather a life lived in active attention to the demands of the gospel. It involves not just accepting the message of the gospel but assiduously assisting its transmission onto others who are yet to really accept the gospel. The PMS and other church organs work in various ways to assist others in coming on-board this demand through creating avenues through which people can participate in the spreading of the gospel to the world right by directly moving out to preach it or by supporting people who would move out to preach it or by creating a conducive atmosphere and environment for the transmission as well as reception of the gospel message.
Each of us today needs to inquire within our individual as well as collective consciousness and life to discover how well or poorly we have performed in this demand of helping Christ continue the spread of His goodnews. We need also to recommit ourselves in those areas that we have been doing well and to readjust ourselves in those areas we may have failed or been inefficient. Since it is how well we propagated the gospel with our lives and actions that would determine our fitness for God’s reward it is therefore of great necessity that we do not overlook this inner inquiry.
With this in mind therefore, let us pray God for the grace to really become endearing missionaries of His Gospel message either directly; by living a very sincere holy life or going out to preach the message to others, or indirectly; by supporting those who go out to preach Him or helping create a conducive environment for the communication of His message. It is the support of His grace that would help us remain effective messengers of His gospel as to win His eternal reward. Amen.
Remain blessed and sustained, my friend and companion in the missionary life. And may God’s grace and favour never leave our side.