It is truly wonderful to consider that we are the result of Jesus’s command to the disciples in today’s Gospel. They went out into the world to spread the Good News to all. We are the result of the disciples’ authority. The many churches around the world, the church leaders and canon law, the people who make up this extraordinary and vibrant community called the Christian faith: these are the effects of a discipleship that has continued down the generations in earnest.
When Jesus rose into the heavens – a truly mystical happening that even today we cannot fully explain – the disciples would have been perplexed. The rounded neatness that the resurrection appears to be in the Gospel would have been absent entirely. This was no end, no rounding up. And on everybody’s lips would have been the words: what next?
Jesus told his followers to make disciples of all the nations. The command still stands for us. Conversion is first and foremost a deeply internal stirring between God and man, occurring in the depths of the human mind and body. From there we have the gift of translating that experience into all of our life, and this is infectious. Others grasp hold of this experience and this is the beauty of discipleship. Whilst we do need to make an effort, the cogs that turn are those of God and they revolve under the auspices of his grace.
In order to make disciples of the nations, we need not become UN ambassadors. Luckily for us, God does much of the work. He is asking us to respond in grace, to allow ourselves to listen and act. We do so in love and joy. It is a difficult road but one identified by happiness.
This is our resurrection. Let us live into it and thank the Lord for his grace.
The Lord be with you And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (28:16-20)
Glory to you, O Lord
The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said,
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations;
baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.
‘And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.