Our God became one of us. Paul tells us “in Christ the fullness of deity resides in bodily form”. Jesus became human like us in all things except sin – and it was through his humanity that he saved us from the death of sin.
Jesus wanted his work on earth to continue through the humanity of his followers. That’s why he chose those twelve men mentioned in the gospel – twelve individuals who certainly weren’t perfect and time and again broke his heart. Yet he entrusted to them something infinitely precious: faith. He commissioned them to preach the good news to the ends of the earth.
And what Jesus did in the past he continues to do in the present. As surely as he called the apostles, he calls us to be his followers. He calls each of us by name – in baptism. And what he does in the present he will continue to do in the future.
We stand at some midpoint in time between that first call of the apostles and the future of the church on earth. When we reflect on the past, we realize that the faith we’ve received was handed down to us through the centuries by men and women of faith. Our religion did not start the other day up the street. It has a history which is a history of humanity transformed by faith.
But we must also look to the future and recognize that those who follow us will have to look back on our era for a witness to the faith. The kind of disciples we are now as followers of Christ will have an influence not only on those with whom we live, but also on those who have yet to be born.
I’m sure that’s why Luke emphasizes the fact the Jesus “spent the whole night in prayer, in communion with God his father” before making his decisions. And after that he was able to reach out and meet the various needs of the crowds who came to be healed, forgiven and consoled. Just as Jesus needed to take time to recharge his batteries, to return again and again to the Source of love and life, we need these moments of prayer at Eucharist to recharge our batteries. It’s in this sacred place and time that we’ll deepen our faith, find the strength and direction we need to help those who ask it of us, to console friends who sorrow, to speak healing words to all who need hear them. Make no mistake about it – just as Jesus called the twelve, he calls each one of us to be a part of that history as his living witnesses to faith.
- Fr. Damian Towey, CP is a member of the community at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center,North Palm Beach,Florida.