You Have Been Commissioned

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Feast of the Ascension 2017

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I remember watching part of a college graduation address where the speaker said, “With this degree you are commissioned to go into the world and make a difference.” The imagery conjured up in my mind by the use of the word “commissioned” was pretty powerful. I thought about the commissioning of military officers and the responsibility they took on for the lives of their subordinates but also the lives of those they protected. To me the word meant something very serious and solemn. It meant huge responsibility and expectation.

In the Bible, Jesus gives what we call the Great Commission:

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. (Matt 28:19-20a)

The word commission makes this more than a suggestion or a hope. There is an expectation, a responsibility, and a mandate. Of course, did you wake up this morning thinking about how you would fulfill the Great Commission today?

Sharing the Faith is not just something we should do; it is something we must do. The key is that you don’t need to speak all the time to share. It will be through your life of stewardship that others will be able to see Jesus. By giving of yourself, by always responding to the call, and by surrendering all to God, you will lead others to become disciples, to seek out the sacraments, and to observe His teachings. Yes, responding in full to the Great Commission, great things can happen.

Working Together

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter 2017

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My children could never succeed without their mother and me. That isn’t me thinking too much of ourselves, it is just a fact. No one can find success in life in total isolation. I could never have become who I am today without my parents, various teachers and mentors, and my wife. Truth be told, I probably owe a lot of who I am to my children as well.

I can only imagine the fear and concern of the first disciples when it was apparent that Jesus was not going to be with them much longer. Some probably thought since Jesus had risen from the dead, he might just live with them in the same way forever. But Jesus tried to calm their fears by assuring them, “I will not leave you orphans.” He said He would continue to come to them and that He would send the Spirit to be with them at all times. They would not have to continue what He had started and preach the Good News to the ends of the earth on their own.

We may sometimes feel that we are alone. We may at times try to do too much or show others that we are independent and strong. However, without the help of others, without the help of God, true success will always elude us. Our actions and words can become empty. The gifts we have received can either be cultivated in secret and in the shadows, or we can welcome the help that God provides in His Spirit, His community, and the sacraments He gave us. By working together the world will truly know the power of the Risen Lord.