By Alanna Burg
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” ~ Romans 8:16-17
St. Paul provides the importance of our identity as adopted children of God. In Baptism, we are changed; we become members of the Body of Christ. This identity as children of God is essential to living out the mission that Christ commanded.
What is the Mission?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives what is commonly known as The Great Commission. He states, “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.” (Mt 28:19-20) This mission to go out and make disciples is impossible without Christ. Our identity as children of God, rooted in the knowledge that we are co-heirs with Christ, is the foundation of our trust in His power to complete the mission through us.
Jesus finishes His Great Commission with a promise. “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20) Christ is with us, always, even if we don’t feel Him. We are, as St. Paul states, joint-heirs with Christ. We are part of the second person in the Trinity, Christ is the head, and we are the body. What we inherit is eternity in the Divine Life of the Trinity. This reality is the “why” for the willing suffering of the Saints.
Suffering and Glorification
The crucifixion was the price Christ obediently paid. St Paul instructs us to suffer with Christ, as the body of Christ, so that we are glorified with him in eternity. Our identity foundation leads to fruitful action in mission and is fortified by sacrificial suffering. If we don’t understand who we are as Christians, our mission is profoundly shackled.
Lord, I offer up my sufferings in union with your own suffering on the Cross. Thank you for the precious gift of participation in the Divine Love of the Trinity.
Call to Action
In remembrance of our identity in Christ, intentionally offer up all suffering today.
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