Text: The Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 28:16-20
Not every one that says " 'Lord, Lord' will enter into the Kingdom..." and so it was for Judas who betrayed our Lord Jesus... There were only eleven disciples who went to Galilee.
"Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own."
"Our soul is waiting for the Lord. The Lord is our help and our shield. May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you."
One had lost all hope, yet, eleven remained hopeful.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
It was on a mountain that God spoke to Moses and gave the Commandments (the Law). Pentocost celebrated that giving of the Law (Shavuos -- the holiday celebrating the receipt of the Torah.) The Law was given through Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ!
The Holy Spirit would be poured out when the Day of Pentecost was fully come.
But, now, our Risen Lord, met with the eleven disciples on another mountain to give them the greatest commission ever given. The word, "apostellw" in Greek means to send with a commission. We get our word, "apostle" from this verb and its corresponding noun "apostolos."
It is the disciples, note, who will be empowered as the Apostles.
Galilee was the place of his rejection.
The whole Gospel of Saint Matthew gives exclusively Christ's Galilean ministry. Therefore, when the King began his ministry he began it is "the Galilee of the nations." (Matthew 4). There were many gentiles in Galilee... and it was there that this greatest of all commissions would be given...on this significant ground, where Jesus was rejected and where the gentiles were mixed with the Chosen People.
Here, Jesus our Lord gives the Apostles the GREAT COMMISSION to proclaim the kingdom world wide, to disciple all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Holy Trinity.
Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ.
17 And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted.
It is of supreme interest that this "worship" and "doubt" took place here at the mountain in Galilee. Worship and doubt happened at Horeb (Sinai).
At Sinai (and here) we rediscover the transcendence of God.
If we study tirelessly the Old Testament and New Testaments, and discover God as he reveals himself to be... there is but One God! He never changes and he never contradicts himself.
It is man who has changed.
We tend to grow confident through cultural development and often misconstrue God's condescension that he manifested in the Gospel as an allowance for our growing nonchalant in our attitudes towards God. One writer says this is very "alien to the spirit of the Magnificat." (The Hermitage Within, by a Monk)
If we do not worship the God who is transcendent and who comes too as Emmanuel - our lives become ego centered.
Those who doubted still needed the touch of God, as we all do... but they all went to the mountain and Judas did not see this event...he had forgotten the transcendent and become ego centered, thus, the rope and his fall. Let us see this through the eyes of Mary's Magnificat... the transcendent Jesus speaking of the Authority in the Holy Trinity!
So, he speaks-
18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Navarre Bible (242) says "Omnipotence, an attribute belonging exclusively to God, belongs to him: he is confirming the faith of his worshippers; and he is also telling them that the authority which he is going to give them to equip them to carry out their mission to the whole world, derives from his own divine authority."
The Authority of the Church comes from these words - given for the salvation of all mankind! These words and the authority come directly from Jesus Christ and is above any other authority on the earth!
That is a statement many do not want to hear in the 21st Century!
Our generation is more into ego-based spirituality and cafeteria Catholicism, than, believing the Authority granted and equipped by Jesus Christ for his Church.
What says our Lord?
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 lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
That statement is an "all inclusive" statement! We talk of "inclusive language"? This is as "inclusive" as we can get!
Of ALL NATIONS
In the NAME of the
ALL that I HAVE COMMANDED YOU
I AM with YOU ALWAYS
To the close of the AGE...
What is emphasized here is the absolute nature of this language.
This is not the great "SUGGESTION"
This is not the great "PROPOSAL"
Nor, is this the great -- "POSSIBILITY," "POSITIVE THINKING," or whatever...
This is the COMMAND of the GOD, worshipped and to be adored - now COMMANDING us all to the obedience of faith, like Mary was obedient as reflected in the Magnificat...
It cries out for obeying our Church's TEACHING - loyal to the teachings of the Magesterium.
Jesus is with us until the end of the age, the end of time... then it is eternity!
It is in the Liturgy of the Word and in the Holy Eucharist where we find our company with our Lord Jesus who remains with us until the end of time.
Mary brings us to Jesus and she helps Saint Matthew relate these things (events) to us as well that we might believe on the Name we are baptized in , the Holy Trinity (Cf. Mary of Agreda's account of the source of the Gospels).
May we find within Pentecost, the power to serve and obey God in love and reverence until the end of the age...