When reading the Gospel of St. John you will notice something interesting about how Jesus refers to Himself. He refers to Himself as One Who has been sent by the Father a total of 42 times in this gospel.
There are certain things we can presume about the action of someone being “sent”. We begin with a “sender”. This sender gives two things to the one being sent. First, they are given a mission. There is a reason for sending this person to where (or to whom) you are sending them – that is their mission. Second, the one being sent is given the authority to do the mission by the sender. The one being sent has no authority to do the mission on their own. The mission comes from sender and the authority to do the mission is also from the sender.
For example, a teacher gives a note to a student. The student is to deliver the note to another student who missed class. This is his mission. The note has instructions on the work the missing student has to do to make up the missed class. The student being sent cannot, on his own authority, tell the other student what work they must do. However, because the first student was sent by the teacher, his message has the authority from the teacher and the missing student is obligated to do the work.
Jesus wanted us to know that He was sent by God the Father and therefore His mission had the authority of God. His mission from the Father was this – to reveal Himself to us, teaching us about Himself and about God’s plan for us and to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.
Being sent by the Father is deeply rooted in the identity of Our Lord Jesus. For as God the Son, He is eternally begotten of the Father – God from God, Light from Light. The authority and mission of the Father is equally the authority and mission of the Son.
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He gave His Church something amazing. Jesus said:
“All authority 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 lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus gave His Church HIS OWN AUTHORITY! Then He sent us on a mission. A mission to make disciples of everyone! Through the sacraments and teachings of the Church we bring Jesus to the world.
Now, that’s a very broad mission. However, each of us has specific tasks, or a specific mission, as a member of the Church. Each of us is sent by Jesus. So the question is… how do we know where Jesus is sending us? How do we know our mission?
It’s simple. You probably already know the answer. Pray. Ask Jesus where He is sending you.
As simple as this is, we often don’t do it. We join a group at church or decide to do something for God without praying. Then we tell God to come and help us with this task. But this may not be what God wants us to do. So, remember, pray everyday for God to guide you to where He is sending you. As well, pray that He will keep you from where He is not sending you.
So the answer to the title of this posting, “Are You Sent?” is yes, you are! Just make sure to ask God where He is sending you before you leave.
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