With His return to the Heavenly Father, the mission of Jesus on earth has been completed. However, He entrusted to the disciples the mission of preaching and sharing the Good News and evangelizing the whole world by becoming witnesses to Him through their lives.
“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.” (Mt. 28: 19-20)
Jesus is known throughout the world and with the Internet around, information about Him is available to almost anyone.
What do these command mean for His present disciples in this time and age?
Jesus marching orders still apply to all baptized Catholics; the mission still exists and is important and urgent as ever. With the so many problems and threats felt throughout the world, people all the more need assurance of the importance of God and faith in their lives. They need to understand that there is more to life than success, wealth and fame. Dependence on material things and temporal sources of happiness lead to anxieties and worries, especially in that sickness, sin and evil exist. These are realities of modern day living. We need to be strong and discerning in order to remain steadfast and faithful to the values of the Kingdom. Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (wonder); these are needed if we are to survive this harsh and cruel world. Values that only the Holy Spirit can give.
When Jesus gave the command many centuries ago, it seemed almost impossible to achieve, considering the disciples were even hiding at that time for fear of the Jews. And yet after Pentecost, they did exactly what Jesus asked them to do. They went out to places so far away from their homes to teach the world and baptize people into the faith. Most of them lost their lives in the process, yet they accepted death joyfully for the love of God. They know what awaited them in Heaven. Throughout their missionary journeys, they know the promise of Emmanuel – God is with us – more strengthened by Jesus’ promise, “I am with you always, even to the end of time.”
The Risen Christ gave us a hint of what Eternal Life is all about. But it is His Ascension that we see Him attain fullness of the glory of God.
Let us pray then that the prospect of sharing in that glory drive and inspire our lives here on earth.
“God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.” (Ps. 47: 6)