What can we do?

So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (John 6:28-29) Accomplishing the works of God – now that seems like something that should be on the top of our list. When we look at beginning of the Gospel of Luke, we encounter Jesus in the synagogue

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Perhaps these are the works of God? Or maybe St. Matthew outlines the important works:

“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)

Or maybe Matthew also outlines the works of God in his parable of the Judgements when the criterion of judgment seems to be:

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (Mt 25:35-36)

That’s Matthew and Luke, what about St. John?  “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21).  Let me offer without a detailed explanation, but what John is saying is we are sent as an agent of God and creation, sent to be life-giving to those we encounter, to be a source of life and knowledge, to fulfill covenants, be an agent of salvation, and be the visible presence of Christ to others. (If you’d like to unpack all this, here is a more in-depth look at it.)

All of that grounded and rooted in believing in the one God sent.

What can we do? Believe and pick something from this partial list. It’s the foundation and a start.

Image credit: Duccio, “Christ Preaches to the Apostles,” ca. 1310 (photo: Public Domain)

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