In five short verses, the conclusion of Matthew’s Gospel outlines the spectrum of the disciples’ experience so far. Amid the extremes of fidelity and betrayal, worship and doubt, Jesus stands like a center mark fixed in our hearts, that all our edges may be drawn back to him. Jesus, whose authority spans heaven and earth, gathers in order to send us beyond our perceived limits.
Jesus, who returns to the Father yet remains with us, commands us to find the borders of our comfort to embrace those cast to the outskirts of our concern. Like a compass, the Sign of the Cross we make on our bodies commits us again and again to the ends of the earth to seek these sisters and brothers in Christ.The neophytes baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit herald us again to reclaim this mission in Christ. Click To Tweet
This is a fitting Gospel to mark our return to Ordinary Time Sundays. We aren’t going back to things as usual now that we have completed our Paschal season.
With the newly initiated as our living proof of God’s new creation, we remember that the church is not a fixed point but a people who go out to the margins to embrace all with the reconciling message of the Gospel. The neophytes baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit herald us again to reclaim this mission in Christ.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Avoiding “small-minded” discipleship
- A shift in focus
- At the Crossroads
- Messy but Life-Changing
- True Observance