This week, my post will wrap up my look at the model of Christ and His Apostles. First, we looked at the call, and then our role as disciples. Tonight, the focus is on how we move from being students into our eventual role as apostles. To clarify, the word “apostle” means one who is sent. And we definitely are. Christ’s command to the 11 at the time of the Ascension was to “go out and make disciples of all the nations.” Well, guess what our job is now.
One thing that I think absolutely must be perfectly clear before we go any further, though, is that even when we are sent out, we are still to be students. Christ will never be done teaching us, and we should never be done learning. Just because we have been sent, if we view ourselves as masters rather than students, than we have misled ourselves terribly.
This is part of why Jesus sent the Apostles out two by two. None of us will ever fully master what Jesus has sent us to share, so we must act as part of a team. This teamwork takes many forms. On one level, yes, we team up with others who have been sent into the same field as we have. As a teacher, I know that I need to rely on the experiences and wisdom of other teachers.
At another level, we also rely on those who have been sent before us. It’s crucial that we acknowledge that we are neither the first nor the last link in the chain. This is where the teachings and examples of the Saints can help to further form us, not to mention resources like the Catechism which can better equip us to see the mission on which we’ve been sent to its completion.
If we’re going to succeed, we need to know what that success will mean. We aren’t sent for our own glory, but the glory of God. So, we recognize our place and role, knowing that some will prepare the field, some will plant the seeds, others may do the watering, and another will harvest. None of these roles is more important than the other, as only if all of them are done is the harvest possible. This is why we need to maintain our focus on prayer to know what role God has assigned us and to avoid losing sight of its importance.
Ultimately, what we are sent to do will look different for each of us, but the goal will be the same. We are sent to share the joy, love, and peace that we have found in Christ. We are not, however, sent forever. Return to your call, return to your seat at the feet of Christ, and then be ready to be sent again to resume the work.