Fr Roland Agrisola reads and reflects on the Gospel of Matthew (10: 34 – 11:1) in which Jesus says ‘whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it’.
Fr Roland says the mission of Jesus is to bring about reconciliation between human beings and God. The Gospels show us that very early in his public ministry Jesus started calling men and women to be his disciples; that is, to be in communion with him and to share in his mission. This is also the mission of the apostles to call men and women to be in communion with Christ and the community of disciples and to share in his mission.
In other words, the Christian message is, ultimately, the person and mission of Jesus. Jesus who is the son of God made man is God’s closeness, God’s reign, God’s mercy and he is the Christian message. He is the message.
A human person who encounters the person of Jesus through the preaching of his disciples has to make a choice either to accept this call or to reject it. The preaching of the Christian message whose ultimate goal is to bring about reconciliation and communion between God and human beings will bring division in families and communities because of the different responses to it. There are those who accept the message and decide to be followers of our Lord Jesus or there are those who reject the message.
Fr Roland says, we have said ‘yes’ to that invitation to become missionary disciples of Jesus and we are reminded today that accepting this invitation is to accept Jesus as the Son of God made man to reconcile us with God, bringing us into communion with God and with one another. To accept Jesus means to enter into his family, the family of God.
To use St Paul’s favourite expression, every disciple is a member of the body of Christ; Christ lives in us and we live in Christ; Other members of the body live in us; and we live in them. We belong to one another. We belong to one body. We are part, and members, of one family of God. Belonging to this communion we share in one mission. United with Christ and filled with his grace we can turn our life and, even, our sufferings into means of salvation, and, even, we are able to see bodily death as a space of liberal communion with God.
For our reflection, Fr Roland invites us to ask, ‘Am I willing to become more and more like Christ as he reproduces himself in me while bringing me to perfection, while bringing to perfection my uniqueness and his grace in me?