Are these words of Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel directed at you and me?
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20
Or are they meant only for those who actually work for the Church?
I believe the answer is, both! This passage has guided the mission of the Church for 2000 years. However, to “make disciples of all nations”, “baptizing” and “teaching all that I have commanded you” is an immense task. I think that is especially true for you and me as individual believers. And I must confess that at times I have my doubts about my role and my ability to accomplish the task.
However, when I read the passage again I realize that as Jesus commissions the disciples He frames it with two statements. Before He says, “Go” Jesus makes a profound declaration. I am going to say it with emphasis,
“ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME.”
Then after His commissioning statement Jesus reminds the disciples of a paramount point. Again with added emphasis,
“I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, UNTIL THE END OF THE AGE.”
My point is that the task that Jesus asks of us is to be done in His power and presence. Think about that for a second. He is referring to the power and presence inherent in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus assures us of His power and presence no matter what He calls us to do. When I think of it that way all my doubts disappear.