We are Commissioned by Jesus
“It is very tempting to read the commissioning of seventy disciples as a page from the past … All baptised Christians belong to the long unbroken chain of disciples called to continue the mission entrusted to us by Jesus Christ. We are challenged to move out of our comfort zones and realise that all Christians are eventually missionaries.” [God’s Word 2019]
It is our duty and responsibility as baptised Christians to share what we have been given with others. That is a daunting challenge. After all, Moses baulked when God told him he was chosen to lead his people out of Egypt and even gave reasons to God about how he was not the right man for the job. God encouraged Moses then – he encourages us now! God’s will IS God’s will!
Jesus commissioned his disciples to go out and carry on the work he began. He chose ordinary people – like you and me. He entrusted them with his word and empowered them with his Spirit. He chose them knowing they could work and rise above their limitations – and they did. They could feel the Spirit moving within, empowering them to empower others. Jesus does the same with us today.
The stories of Zacchaeus, of those called by Jesus to be apostles and disciples, of those with whom Jesus ate and associated, reinforce that God calls us, unworthy though we are, fills us with the Holy Spirit, prepares, equips and sends us to do the work we are called to do. As Jesus did the work of his Father, we too are called: to fulfil the plan God has for us.
God does not call the equipped; God equips the called. Throughout history, God has called his people. God calls us too.
“I have called you by name; you are mine” [Isaiah 43:1].
Pope Francis challenges: “Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel … to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet…….The Samaritan woman became a missionary immediately after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in him “because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:39). So too, Saint Paul, after his encounter with Jesus Christ, “immediately proclaimed Jesus” (Acts 9:20; cf. 22:6-21). So, what are we waiting for?” [Apostolic Exhortation – Evangelii Gaudium]
Challenging? Yes … … and so it should be. Remember, we are baptised Christians. It is our duty and responsibility to share what we have with others. ‘What we have received is so beautiful and so rich that we cannot hold it for ourselves but feel compelled to bring it to every human being we meet’ [Bread for the Journey – Henri J. M. Nouwen].
A few years ago, I asked the Holy Spirit to ‘fan into a flame the gift of God that you have” [2 Timothy 1:6]. I desired to respond to God’s call but was not sure how that might work. Well, I love to write, and discerned that is exactly what I was being called to do! The Spirit inspires my heart with words that come to me. I surrender to what I love, trusting that I wholeheartedly serve God best in doing God’s will. And so, I write without doing. I simply allow ideas to come through me and onto the page. It’s not something I work at or struggle with – I simply let go and let God, accepting as truth the promise of Jesus that the Holy Spirit will give me the words I am to write or say. Everything I write shows up in its allotted time and with it comes all the energy, enthusiasm and passion I need to allow it to happen. The Spirit comes through – every time!
What is the gift you are to ‘fan into a flame’? St Augustine said: “You contain within you what you should offer, draw from your heart … offer from the treasury of your conscience the sacrifice of faith … with charity set fire to everything you offer. For within you are these offerings.”
What we do may only scratch the surface, but, because we are called by God to serve and do God’s work, we’d better get scratching! ‘This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results…’ [Bishop Ken Untener]
“People are hungry
And one good word is bread
For a thousand.” [David Whyte – Loaves and Fishes].
So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step now.
Have a golden day and treasure life!