Meditation 8 for August 25th, 2013 – The Mission

A Christian’s mission is the same as that of Jesus.

  It is very important for us to understand that by our Baptism we are all called to be united to Jesus in such a way that throughout our whole Christian life we would desire to be as close as possible to him, as united to him as possible. The itinerary for all Christians on earth is already given in a certain way, since our grace consists in continuing the grace of Jesus. John Paul II gave the Church a very beautiful definition (which, until then, had not been given with so much clarity) when he said the path of the Church is in continuity with that of Jesus. The Church has no other itinerary than Jesus’. So, everything the Church does on earth is inscribed in the itinerary of Christ. Christ’s itinerary prolongates itself through time and space, but it is quite the same itinerary. Otherwise we are outside of the Holy Spirit’s divine guidance over the Church. This would be our own fantasy, but it is not the itinerary of the Church in its own mystery, in its mystery as the Spouse of Jesus. A wife has no other itinerary than that of her husband, and this is the itinerary she continues.

 

In the light of the Cross, we should understand what is or is not of the Holy Spirit in the Church. That is very important, because sometimes we can wonder if what we are doing is really the work of the Holy Spirit, if it is really what he wants us to be doing. The criteria for making this discernment is this: is what we are doing in conformity with what Jesus did? In the Gospel we read about what Jesus did and lived. We see there how Jesus is the Messenger par excellence of the Father: everything Jesus did was done in conformity with the Father – “Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing.”[1] And everything the Church does should be done in conformity with the path of Christ. Otherwise the Church is no longer the Bride of Christ, she is no longer the one who follows him and who fully lives his mission. The mission of the Church is that of Christ.[2] This very strong expression by John Paul II sums up the whole Tradition: the mission of the Church is the mission of Christ. Christ’s mission continues and takes on all its strength, all its vigor. That is what characterizes the Church’s mission: this mission is not its own – the Church has no proper mission. It is the mission of Jesus, prolonged in time and space. And the mission of Christ is described for us in the Gospels.

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A witness lives the mystery

The mystery of the Cross must be contemplated for itself. Before all else, a Christian is someone who contemplates, which means someone who wants to live the mystery of the Cross in all its exigencies, by opening up to this light which comes to enlighten his heart. The Cross of Christ requires that he who lets himself be attracted to it must become a witness of Christ, a witness of his truth, a witness of his love for the Father, a witness of his love for mankind.


[1] Jn.5: 19; cf. 30: “I can do nothing on my own authority.”

[2]Redemptorishominis, §§ 7, 12 and 18 ; See also : Redemptorismissio, §§ 18, 19 and 20 ; Dominum et vivificantem, § 61 ; Tertiomillennioadveniente, § 56 (citing Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, §3).

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