Jesus tells us in the Gospel this Sunday: “Take care to guard against all greed, for
though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions” (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus doesn’t want us to get sidetracked by material things – rather, He keeps us focused on the Kingdom – as He later told Pontius Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world.”Jesus Christ reminds us what He came to do, and how He would do it. Jesus came not to take over the world, but to imbue it with His Spirit, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, to redeem the world from within by His grace. And He did so by His Passion, Death and Resurrection and His Ascension into Heaven. This was His mission, to bring us Home to Heaven. And it remains His mission through His Church, Word, Sacraments and prayer. Jesus gives us the example of what it means to stay mission-focused. He refused to be sidetracked. The more closely we follow His example, the more joyful, fulfilling and fruitful we will be. This requires that we stay focused on God’s eternal Kingdom and become rich in what matters to God, as Jesus says this Sunday. We become rich in what matters to God when we stay focused on Christ, His Church, Word, Sacraments, daily prayer, striving by His grace to live the virtues of faith, hope and love, in goodness and holiness, and not letting ourselves get so distracted by material things that we lose our focus on God. We certainly can have material things, enjoy them and use them for the good, but not let them control us, our emotions and feelings.
Christ has given each of us a share in His mission because He knows it will give us the meaning and fulfillment for which we long. When we have a clearer idea of our mission, we will better be able to fulfill it, to keep growing spiritually in communion with Jesus.
If asked to describe our Christian mission in one sentence, one solid answer comes from the Gospels and the writings of the saints through the centuries: A Christian’s mission in life is to know, love, serve and follow Jesus Christ more closely every day, and to help as many people as possible do the same. This is a clear, substantial description of our mission – one that we can take with us every day: I am here to know, love, serve and follow Jesus Christ, and help others do the same. Each day, then, may we offer God the day, asking for the grace to live our mission for Him. Each evening, may we thank Him for the day and think about how we carried out our mission, and how we can carry it out better tomorrow with His grace. When we do, Jesus will help us become more and more like Him, His evangelists, bearers of the Gospel, truly mission-focused Christians. And when that happens, His love, peace and joy will permeate our lives.
With peace and prayers in Christ,