Jesus’ parting words in today’s Gospel (Matthew 28: 16-20) remind us of the name the Prophet Isaiah gave Jesus, “Emmanuel…God with us” (Isaiah 1:23). Christ Jesus is with us through each other (the church on earth), but most of all in the Eucharist. HE directs and empowers us for mission. Jesus sends us forth into the world to proclaim the Good News through the way we live our lives in addition to what we say and do. He gives us this mandate and showers us with every single thing we would ever need to share His love with others: the creative love of the Father, the gifts of His Holy Spirit, and HIS very presence with us.
What more do we need? Our answer should be, “nothing, we have everything, we have God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit!” Yet, if we are truly honest, we know our short list of needs may not have God listed at the top of the “need” list. In fact, if we are really honest, our list would start out something like this: money, time, energy, desire, health, know-how, the right education, power, and position, and that is if we even consider accepting the mandate to share HIS love with others.
In essence, sharing the love of Jesus with others comes very naturally for all of us if we simply focus on love. God is love, all love, nothing less than total love. When we turn to God, not just God the Father who is all creative, but God the redeeming son, and God the Spirit who moves us through each day of our lives, we embrace the bigger picture of LOVE. For many of us accepting that we are loved, that we are even lovable, is a huge task. This is the first step in sharing Jesus. This is where the rubber meets the road. Without recognizing that we are loved by God first, we will never be able to love in return. But, when we stop, meditate upon the concept of being loved not just for what we do but simply because we are a created being, then we have a chance of being filled with God’s love. We are so filled with His love that it bursts out of us and we cannot help but love others. Then, only then, are we embracing the mission, and sharing Jesus with others.
Let us always remember as the hours push us through our day that Jesus is always with us, loving us, caring for us, guiding us, until the end of the age. So, let us go out and share that love knowing He will always fill our hearts with more than enough love to go around.