WHAT IS YOUR MISSION MANDATE
(Homily for Thursday 10 January 2019)
The beginning of every year is very important in the lives of many people. Many use it to set plans they want to achieve in the course of the year. For others, it is the best moment to make some resolutions on what to do and what not to do, to change an undesired trait or behaviour, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise to improve their lives.
For us Christians, I think the beginning of the year is also a good time to access ourselves with regard to our relationship with the word of God we constantly hear, read, preach and teach in different occasions. Each time there is a deaconate ordination, the ordaining Bishop addresses the newly ordained deacons with these words “Receive the word of God, believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach” Even though this statement is meant for those in the Holy Orders: deacons, priests and bishops but it is also meant for every Christian.
By virtue of our Christian baptism, we participate and share in the common priesthood of Christ and therefore we are called to read the word of God, believe the word of God, instruct one another with the word of and then put into practice the word of God we hear.
The pertinent question we have to ask ourselves here is: How do we receive the word of God? Like a story, a moral, or a fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth? Do we believe the word of God we read? If we do, then, do we instruct others in that which we believe? If we do, do we practice that which we read and believe? I think in most cases the third question is where the problem lies, that is, in putting the Word of God into practice.
Does the word of God we read and hear make or create any positive impact on our relationship with Him and those around us? Does it help us to grow stronger in our spiritual lives and positively help us to make new discoveries in cultivating virtues and to handle life’s vicissitudes and storms when they come? Is there any change of attitude in our Christian lives or do we remain the same?
Taking a little time to make this assessment at the beginning of each year will help us to set wonderful plans for ourselves with a mission statement that goes with them and then ask God to give us the grace of fulfilling those plans because without Him we can do nothing.
Christ has given us a clue on how to set up plans for ourselves and then work hard to actualize those plans. Few days ago, Christ gave us a part of His mission statement as preaching repentance for all but today a full package of why He came was brought to limelight in the gospel according to Saint Luke (Lk 4:14-22).
He came to proclaim liberty to captives and the blind recovery of sight, to set the downtrodden free and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour. Christ today not only believed what He read from the old Testament about Himself but taught His people what He believed and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips.
The word of God is something very active and alive, ancient and modern and no one who receives it with faith ever remained the same.
May the word of God we hear and preach never brings us condemnation but transformation and life.
Let Us Pray: Lord God, help me to stay true to my commitment to you and may I always work with your grace to fulfill my mission mandate. Amen.