Monday, July 8, 2013

Sent to Gather What was Scattered

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

People oftentimes wonder why Jesus bid his disciples to go from town to town on a mission. Why can’t his disciples stay put like everybody else? The key to the understanding of the itinerant character of the work of the disciples is the message that they bring: “The Kingdom of God is at hand!”  What is the Kingdom of God? The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life, a communion brought about by the ‘convocation’ of all men in Christ, and this ‘convocation’ is the Church. The Church is the goal of all things.” (CCC, 760). Communion in order to share in the divine life – this is the will of the Father for the world which he created. This communion with the Divine life is the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately, sin destroyed the harmony in which human beings were created: “the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions…Harmony with creation is broken…” (CCC, 400). In other words, sin scattered the children of God.

And this is why God sent his Son into the world. “To carry out the will of the Father, Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth. Now the Father’s will is ‘to raise up men to share in his own divine life.’ He does this by gathering men around his Son Jesus Christ. This gathering is the Church, ‘on earth, the seed and beginning of that Kingdom.’” (CCC, 541.) Christ came to gather into unity the scattered children of God. He was raised upon the Cross to gather all people to himself. It is for the sake of gathering the scattered children of God that the disciples are sent from town to town with the message that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The work of the disciples, our work is that of gathering. Thus, we have the image of the harvest: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” The fruits of the death of Jesus must be gathered by the workers – and we are the workers. We go from town to town in search for the children of God. The message that we bring is actually an invitation to draw near to the Lord Jesus so that they may gain access to the Divine Life. We cannot share in the Divine life apart from communion with Jesus. We have to gather around Jesus. And this gathering around Jesus is the Church. We go from town to town to collect people for Jesus. We go from town to town to gather the harvest. We go from town to town to bring people to the Kingdom of God, which is the Church.

We are part of this gathering of people around Jesus. For this reason, we rejoice that our names are written in heaven. And we should share this joy. We should share the blessing that we received. We should go from town to town. We should go from house to house with the invitation to come and join this gathering of people around Jesus. We should seek those who stay away from the Lord. Pope Francis keeps on saying: The Church must not wait for people to come to her. She should go and search for the lost. Let it be our mission to win people for Jesus. We are workers in the Lord’s harvest. Let it be our task to gather and not scatter.

Jesus, I trust in you. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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