92. Go (Matthew 28:11-20)

 

“…God alone satisfies and infinitely surpasses man’s desire, which for that reason is never at rest save in God.” -St. Thomas Aquinas

Matthew 28:11-20: Now while they [the women to whom Christ had appeared] were on their way, some of the guards went off into the city to tell the chief priests all that had happened. These held a meeting with the elders and, after some discussion, handed a considerable sum of money to the soldiers with these instructions, “This is what you must say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And should the governor come to hear of this, we undertake to put things right with him ourselves and to see that you do not get into trouble.” So they took the money and carried out their instructions, and to this day that is the story among the Jews.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Christ the Lord  Jesus Christ has received “all power in heaven and on earth.” And what does he do with it? He shares it. He delegates his apostles to extend his Kingdom to all nations, promising to be present with them and to act through them. Jesus makes it abundantly clear that he is the Lord, and yet his Lordship differs profoundly from any other: instead of constricting the lives of his subjects through oppression and arrogance, he expands their horizons, giving them a meaning and purpose far beyond anything they could have ever come up with on their own. Through obedience to Christ, these eleven Galileans have become collaborators with the Blessed Trinity, ambassadors of God himself. Such is the generosity of the one who is our Lord.

How ironic it is that the chief priests and Pharisees, so eager for glory and influence, passed up the chance to be given such an exalted role! The irony doesn’t escape St. Matthew. He tells us exactly what happened. Having closed their eyes to Christ’s light over and over again, they ended up blinding themselves completely to the truth. They refuse to accept even the very sign they had twice asked for – the sign of Jonah. How small their self-absorbed world ends up being, just at the moment when the apostles receive their commission to conquer the entire globe for Christ.

Christ the Teacher  The Incarnation was God’s saving invasion into this fallen world. The Church is the extension of that invasion throughout all time and space. Christ came to reunite God and men, to lead us back into communion with the ineffable joys of the Trinitarian life.

By putting his power behind the Church’s effort of baptizing, teaching, and making disciples, Jesus teaches us the proper scale of values. He could have put his power at the service of urban planning or space exploration or archeology. Such human endeavors are worthwhile, even noble. But Christ is focused on building his Kingdom, which consists of human hearts united to God through friendship with him. And where human hearts are united to God, they will also be united to one another; the inexpressible unity of the three Divine Persons will spread through those hearts and bring unity among men as well.

If building that Kingdom was and is Christ’s primary concern, it needs to be ours too. As he had taught earlier, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all else will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33). When he puts his power behind the mission of the Church, he is practicing what he preached.

Christ the Friend  Baptism inaugurates the soul’s life of grace, its life of intimate friendship with God. When we are baptized, we inherit individually Christ’s promise to be with us “until the end of the age.” He is with us through the other sacraments (to which baptism is the door), which strengthen and sustain us throughout our difficult and wonderful earthly pilgrimage. He is with us through his Scriptural Word as well as through the living word of his Church’s teaching. And he is with us by being always within us. We have become temples of the Holy Trinity, as St. Paul put it; through the blessed waters of baptism, the Triune God has taken up his dwelling in the very core of our being.

Jesus: You never have to be alone. I am the one who knows you better than you know yourself and loves you with an infinite, crucified, unconditional love, and I am your constant companion. None of the restrictions of human friendship (time, space, miscommunication, selfishness, inconstancy, etc.) apply. You are wholly mine, and I am wholly yours. The perfect family of the Trinity has adopted you into our midst; such is the love of your incomparable Friend.

                                          I believe in your presence and your power, and I want to walk in your light. And yet, I feel as if something is holding me back. Show me what it is. I want to be the saint you made me to be. Only saints do anything for your Kingdom, and only your Kingdom will last. Show me, Lord, the way I need to go. With the knowledge of your heart, make my heart wise…

Building up the Church, expanding your Kingdom, leading others to your friendship… You have given me a share in this mission. Such a wonderful, exhilarating mission! Thank you for calling me to follow you. Teach me to put things in this perspective – little amusements and petty pleasures have their place, but not your place. Lift my gaze up from the mud of the earth. I hope in you, Lord, my Savior and King…

Mary, Jesus left you to nurse the infant Church. Jesus is my brother, so you are my mother too. Such a wise and beautiful mother, sitting at the King’s right hand, arrayed in gold. You were firm and faithful to the end, because your love was true and total. Teach me to be like that…

PS: This is just one of 303 units of Fr. John’s fantastic book The Better PartTo learn more about The Better Part or to purchase in print, Kindle or iPhone editions, click here. Also, please help us get these resources to people who do not have the funds or ability to acquire them by clicking here.

 

Read more: http://spiritualdirection.com/blog/2014/05/28/go-matthew-28-11-20-2#ixzz33167UsPT

This article is reprinted with permission from our friends at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction.

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  • BillinJax

    Amen, this is so true and should be a taken as a spiritual challenge to each of us.

    It is imperative that we believe in God. It is wonderful that we believe in
    Angels. And it is a blessing that we believe in Saints. Good! Well, just who
    and where are the saints?
    How sad it is to know that many “Christians” either dismiss entirely the
    notion of sainthood or find it difficult to incorporate into their spiritual
    life the communion of saints and the value they are to the universal Christian
    church. I don’t know that you can be Christian and not believe that the human
    soul is eternal. If it is eternal then its “status” in life and after death,
    especially to those who know and love the person, becomes an important concern.

    We can agree that this life of ours is but for a season and how we live and
    share it with others is of eternal consequence for the body and soul which
    envelops it. This is why it is so important that as parents we honor our
    obligation to instill deeply within the hearts and minds of our children those
    very first two rules of the catechism “to know and to love God”. Children
    without a true understanding of their heavenly father and why they were created
    and given life have little hope to perform the third rule of Christian life,
    “to serve Him”. Hopefully we can see to it our little children develop the
    perspective that life here is like a playground where we sinners can train
    ourselves to become saints. The games or activities designed for us require
    only active loving participation and service at all times and a willingness to
    assist anyone needing help achieving the goals our heavenly Father has for us.
    As grown ups we become so entrenched in our often drab day to day existence
    by the requirements of producing and providing that we forget that we too are
    children, God’s children. We look at our little children playing and think of
    how worry free they are since we have taken on all their cares for them. We forget that “Our Father” through the Holy Spirit has lovingly provided our Lord Jesus who invites us to place our cares and worries upon him so that we too enjoy freedom to become children of God, His saints. It has been said that a saint is someone who deep within his heart believes God
    loves him and offers him eternal life through Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection and desires to use their life to witness, inform and assure others of the same truth about themselves. It’s that simple.
    So, who are the saints? They are people like you and me who believe and
    hope in their Creator and begin their heaven here on earth living Christ’s
    prayerful request by helping build “thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in
    heaven”. We all have an “invitation” to sainthood and can respond according to
    our own abilities, gifts, and station in life willingly in the name of Jesus
    who relieves our burdens and has freed our spirits to be among the saints.
    Hopefully many of us will be among that “great number which no man could count”
    spoken of in Revelations which will eternally be the “communion of saints”.
    Father God, we pray that we can rejoice fully in the world as children of
    light and holiness so men can witness and know the truth of your merciful love
    and accept Jesus as their “personal” savior through and within the eternal “one
    body of Christ”.
    Yes, all are “personally” welcomed to the community of saints, here, now,
    and forever!

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