Into the World

Luke-upper-roomIn our gospel for Pentecost Sunday, Jesus’ first words are “Peace be with you.” His second words are “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21) That should give each one of us pause, for we too by virtue of our Baptism are sent into the world…just as the Father sent Jesus.

The Fourth Gospel speaks often of Jesus being sent into the world by the Father: to do his will (6:38–39; 8:29), to speak his words (3:34; 8:28; 12:49; 14:24; 17:8), to perform his works (4:34; 5:36; 9:4) and win salvation for all who believe (3:16–17).

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Ite, missa est

Next Sunday is the celebration of Ascension Sunday in most dioceses of the United States. You can read a complete commentary on the Gospel here.

16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 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,  20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20) Continue reading

Chosen, appointed to bear fruit

The readings for today’s readings brought to mind the perpetual topic of leadership and the selection, appointment and installation of leaders.

“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain” (John 15:16)

And while we easily think of the application of this verse with priestly vocations, religious life, the call to serve as bishop and in the election of the pope, we are not so quick to apply the same thought to those in the public square of civic leadership. Of course the demagogue is certain to point out that his election or candidacy is divinely appointed, certain destiny, and blessed by God. But apart from the demagogue, the verse challenges me to ask what am I looking for (hoping for) in civic leadership this time around. And hence the image of the “coming storm”. Continue reading