A reading from Matthew 28:16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”[d]
This is a wonderful Gospel reading because it provides us with the “Mission” of the Church.
- What are we supposed to do? “Go therefore and make disciples”
- Who are we supposed to make disciples? “of all nations”
- How? “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”
It’s a great idea and quite a challenge, since it indicates that we, who have embraced discipleship, are actually being asked to do something to bring others into communion with the Church. The challenge, of course, is that circling the wagons to commiserate with only those who adhere to our personal opinions of Catholicism is rank with passivity, yet forcing others to embrace our brand of Catholicism has not had a remarkable success rate. In spite of the difficulties, we have been asked by Christ to do something, which means there is a way to do it.
- There is a way to make disciples of all nations.
- God has a plan
- We are part of that plan.
I believe there are a few ways to walk this road.
- First of all, our live’s must attract others to Christ.
- Second, we must each commit to an active ministry with the goal of bringing others to the Church.
- Third, and most importantly, we must make the decision to turn our life over to Jesus and let Him lead the way. This is the basis of the prayer “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I put all my trust in You”. This step is most difficult since it requires us to commit to cooperation with God’s plan, even when it is not what we really want to do (think of the book of Jonah).
Peace and Blessings!