For most of us, the Christian life is so “routine” that we often don’t stop to think about how radical it is; selflessly loving God and others in imitation of Christ, who gave Himself on the Cross. In fact, if we really took seriously its demands, we’d probably be struck by how impossible it all seems; for man to love as God loves.
That’s likely what the Apostles were thinking when the Risen Lord, with the nailmarks still fresh in his hands, sends them on mission “as the Father has sent” Him. And yet, it’d be a mistake to only focus on the seemingly impossible demands of this mission. Because if we’re sent as Christ was sent by the Father, we’re also called to live in the same relational mode that He did and does, in complete dependence upon the Father. This is why Christ’s sending of the Apostles on mission is inherently connected with their reception of the Holy Spirit—the love between the Father and Son. If we’re not in relationship with God, the Christian life is truly impossible.
But of course, God invites us into relationship with Him today: in prayer, in the sacraments, and in Christian community. And when we’re relying on Him, the mission He sends us on can seem less impossible. Here at Saint Matthew, we’ve discerned that part of our mission is to build up our parish community through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for Ministries. During this Easter season, let’s ground ourselves deeply in our relationship with God, so that we can generously respond to this and the entirety of our mission.