Last week, we looked at Matthew 28:16-17 and meditated on how Jesus called the disciples to worship together. This week, we move onto verses 18 & 19 and discern the importance they offer to our lives.
St. Francis of Assisi Mission Statement: Matthew 28: 16-20
(16) The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the
mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. (17) When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. (18) Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Jesus approaches the disciples in verse 18, not perturbed in the least by their doubt expressed in verse 17. Their brokenness does not affect their ability to share in Jesus’ work. Jesus tells the disciples, (18) All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Jesus stands before the disciples, on the mountain of the Ascension, drawing all of creation back to his Heavenly Father. He stands between heaven and earth, redirecting the eyes of humanity to the truth and goodness of God.
After establishing Himself as having dominion over heaven and earth, Jesus issues the commission to go and make disciples of all nations. (19) Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit).
The emphasis in verse 19 is action. Jesus’ directive is not for the faint of heart. He is asking us to be courageous and bring Christ to anyone and everyone we meet. We are all called to be missionaries through prayer, action, and dialogue with our fellow people. Additionally, verse 19 emphasizes the importance of baptism, the introduction of the sacraments and the roots of the Church and doctrine by invoking the Holy Trinity.
This week, join us in meditating on these two verses and spend a few minutes in prayer for what it means for your individual life. How can you follow Jesus’ decree in your own life? Are there people in your life you could intentionally be praying for? What are some small actions that allow you to take part in the Great Commission?