By Lynda MacFarland
I read somewhere a while ago, “If you don’t join in Jesus’ mission, you are just an admirer of Jesus.” It wasn’t attributed to anyone, but I really like it. As the wife of a career Soldier, I get the idea of being on a mission. And as we are engaged in a battle for souls, it seems an apt word and concept.
We don’t just follow Jesus, but DO what He did! We love, we serve, we pray, we heal, we share the Truth. Discipleship is an imitation of Christ. We carry our cross. St. Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 11:1 – “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.”
That’s tradition: a handing on of what we know or have learned. Paul is pleading with the Corinthians and all of us, to do what he does because He is doing what Christ did. It’s not about Paul, it’s not about you and me; it’s about Jesus and His mission and His love for us, His mercy, His forgiveness through His ultimate Sacrifice. That was “once and for all,” to quote St. Paul again. (Hebrews 10:10)
Edward Sri notes in his book, “Into His Likeness,” that the original disciples were “not models of perfection.” But he goes on to say that the path to holiness, to be Jesus’ true disciple, is not one of never sinning, never making mistakes, but it is one of mercy and grace!
Those amazing Divine gifts should always be remembered by us because they are always available to us. Just think of, or meditate on, Jesus on the cross. That’s forgiveness for eternity because it was the Eternal who sacrificed Himself for us.
There’s a song by Casting Crowns with the lyrics,
“If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will.”
Jesus is always with us, He dwells within us – baptism begins it; confirmation amplifies or enhances His presence with each of us. (God never lets go of us; we can and often do, though, release our grip on Him. Never doubt His mercy and grace.)
Jesus doesn’t send us on the mission of making disciples without Him. As the consummate Big Brother, He’s got our back. We just have to trust Him and remember to call upon the grace the Holy Spirit provides. We are a team, really. There’s the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and the communion of saints with the Blessed Mother, joining in with us!
Disciples are sent to evangelize. Jesus wants us to “teach” those who do not know Him. Teach them everything He has commanded. What does He command? To love God with everything and to love everyone as ourselves. Got it? Let’s roll!
About the author:
Lynda MacFarland was an Army wife for 33 years. Author of the autobiography, “Drowning in Lemonade – Reflections of an Army Wife,” she also has a blog with the same title. Both address the role of her faith in dealing with the challenges of living an Army life and are intended as encouragement to others.