Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 13:13-25; John 13:16-20)
Once in a while we may hear religious sisters talk about their “missions.” They speak of where they have served as where they have been missioned. They say something like, “Denver was my first mission, and then I was missioned in Milwaukee.” Today’s gospel helps us to think of all Christians as having a mission. Whether it be to some far off city or in the neighborhood where they were born, Christians are sent off to serve.
Jesus is speaking with his disciples at what we call the Last Supper or the Lord’s Supper. He is preparing them to go out to the world and preach the good news. He implies that they can be confident of the claims he will make about himself because he will predict all that happens to him. Then he says that anyone who receives them receives him and God the Father as well: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."
We were sent forth as “other Christs” on the occasion of our Baptism. The sending is renewed at every Eucharist. Occasionally, the mission is explicit. “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord” is one of the four approved dismissals at the end of mass. Whether the priest or deacon uses that wording or not, we are being sent on a mission. The Lord has allowed us to partake of his Body and Blood not only for our own edification. Rather, he expects us with this Eucharistic food to assist others on the way of salvation.