Thursday, May 16, 2019


GospelJN 13:16-20

When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. 
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."

Ite missa est. 

The Latin form of the words that we hear at the conclusion of every Mass mean, "Go, you have been sent." After having feasted on the Bread of life, nourished and strengthened by the Eucharist, we are called to live out our baptismal mission to be priests, prophets and kings. Christ tells us, through the person of the priest (or deacon), as he told the apostles, "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" (Matthew 28:19 - 20).

We are called to witness to the truth that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God; one of the three persons of the Trinity; who suffered, died, resurrected and ascended into heaven; whose death and resurrection we celebrate through the mystery of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives, our "daily bread" that gives us strength for this mission.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known" (CCC, #2472).

We are impelled to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This requires much more than just going to mass and saying our prayers behind closed doors.

This apostolic witness requires a bold profession of faith. It entails always being "ready to give to anyone who asks you a reason for your hope" (1 Peter 3:15). It requires that we embrace Jesus's call to renounce the riches of this world, and to seek out the widow, the orphan, the outcast. We must turn our cheeks and go the extra mile to love even those that persecute us. Christ teaches us to let the children come to Him, becoming like children ourselves. We are to give to Caesar that which belongs to the state, taking seriously our earthly duty to be good citizens. Be humble, meek, poor in spirit, hungry for righteousness. Make peace. Rejoice when we have been counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. Wash each others feet. The two shall become one flesh. Remain clean of heart. Repent. Forgive. Love one another and love the Father in heaven, as we have been loved by Him.

In short, be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

This is our striving, our yearning, our desire to be all that God created us to be. Our lives will come to fullness only in Him. All else is vanity.

But, this perfection is not a pre-requisite to being a witness. Rather, our pursuit of it is itself an act of witness.

Jesus did not call the qualified; He has qualified the called.

His grace is sufficient.

Witness about what you have seen and heard so that others may have fellowship with Christ.

Go, you have been sent.