The Gospel reading today concludes the Book of Matthew. It was at this point that Jesus, knowing he was about to return to the Father, commissioned the apostles to carry the message of the Good News into the whole world. They would baptize, make more disciples, and teach the message Jesus had taught them. Jesus made it clear that his ascension did not mark an absence; he would always be with them. This Gospel message is the foundation of the Church and makes clear what we are called to do and be.
Reflection for Families
We don't need to go to the four corners of the earth to be missionaries. We are called as parents to the same mission as the apostles. We are the first and most significant teachers of our children. We bring them to baptism and show them the Good News. Not only our actions speak to our children about what we believe and how we hope they live Christian lives, but our efforts to prepare them for the sacraments and come to the Lord's table every week helps them know the full depth of our faith.
Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
During the past weeks we have been reminded often by Jesus that he will not leave us alone. Sometimes it's hard to explain to children where someone is who we can't see. Like the people in the early Church we have faith, but we also have doubt. As if it were a scavenger hunt, let family members look for places they find Jesus this week. In what way can your family help others know Jesus' presence?
- I need Jesus with me especially when . . .
- I know how the disciples felt when Jesus left them. I remember someone leaving . . .
- I think I would have been a great missionary because . . .
Feast Day: May 22
Time With God: The Apostles' Creed
Pray the Apostles' Creed and pay close attention to the words "and ascended into Heaven." You can also pray to Saint Rita of Cascia for a special need:
O powerful St. Rita,
rightly called Saint of the Impossible,
I come to you with confidence in my great need.
You know well my trials,
for you yourself were many times burdened in this life.
Come to my help, speak for me, pray with me,
intercede on my behalf before the Father.
I know that God has a most generous heart
and that he is a most loving Father.
Join your prayers to mine
and obtain for me the grace I desire
(Mention your intention here...)
You who were so very pleasing to God on earth
and are so much so now in heaven,
I promise to use this favor, when granted,
to better my life, to proclaim God's mercy,
and to make you more widely known and loved.
Just as Jesus sent his disciples to make disciples, our family, the domestic Church, is called to bear witness to the life of discipleship. That act of witnessing can take many forms. First and foremost our family should call people to discipleship by the example of our love for one another. That example is only the beginning; our love must extend beyond the family, reaching out to others and to the world.
Together with your family, identify one or more ways in which your family lives the life of Christian discipleship. Thank God for the blessing of the opportunity to be able to show God’s love. Then read together today’s Gospel, Matthew 28:16-20. Discuss what Jesus sends his disciples to do. Work together to identify one or more ways in which your family would like to do a better job bearing witness to the life of discipleship. Choose one of those ways and work together to make it happen. Pray as a family for the grace to be witnesses to the world of the life of discipleship. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer.
[from Loyola Press Sunday Connection]