In this formation series we have seen
how God's Love is the root and foundation of relationship, identity and, now,
mission. In the bible the word, mission, "is expressed by a vocabulary which
centers about the verb, 'to send'" (Dictionary of Biblical Theology,
p. 365). In John 3:16 we read, "God so loved the world that he gave his only
son." The Father sent His Son into the world in order to die for our sins. In
John 's Gospel we hear this word, sent, spoken frequently by Jesus: "The Father
has sent me" (John 20:21). This being "sent" encompasses the mission Jesus
received from his Father: "For this purpose have I come" (Mark
Through the death of Jesus, the Lamb
of God, the greatest outpouring of love that the world has ever known has been
'unleashed'. It is this 'great wellspring' of love that now continues through
the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Pope Paul VI has said of the Church in
relation to Jesus that, "She prolongs and continues Him" (Pope Paul VI.
Apostolic Exhortation, "On Evangelization in the Modern World" (Evangelii
Nuntiandi), II, # 18). The Father both prolongs and continues this great
outpouring of love in the world through each of us--through our becoming one
with the Lamb who was slain.
Our charism (a gift of the Holy Spirit
given by God to build up the Church) is "to live Jesus and his cross".
Another way of saying this is "to live the victim-hood of Jesus", or "to become
the Lamb". We are to be so transformed by the Holy Spirit as to allow Jesus to
continue to live in, with and through our humanity, and to continue to offer
his life through us to take away the sins of the world. Through the
transforming power of the Holy Spirit we are given power to lay down our lives so
that Jesus can take up his life in other people who are in need of being set
free. In order to live "Jesus and his cross" I must give Jesus my whole
life. Through the Holy Spirit we are united with his sacrifice on Calvary.
Hence, we are called as victim lambs to "live Jesus and his cross."
The heart of this charism is to
love with the love of Jesus. Another way of saying this is to say that the
"heart of this charism" is the heart of Jesus which is love. This is a divine
love that flows from his pierced heart. The vision of this charism is very much
Jesus on the cross, particularly the 'pierced heart of Jesus'. This charism is
the work of the cross because it is a labor of love for the salvation of souls.
One might say that the image of an intercessor's heart is the pierced heart
of Jesus. Again, Pope Paul VI has said in the same apostolic exhortation
quoted earlier that "the Church exists to reconcile sinners with God and to
perpetuate Christ's sacrifice in the mass" (Evangelii Nuntiandi I, # 14).
We keep in mind that in the thinking of the Church, the cross and the sacrifice
of the mass are one and the same mystery. As intercessors we are "ministers
of reconciliation" (see 2 Cr. 5:18) who, united with the Lamb of God on
the cross, perpetuate his one-time offering on Calvary.
I conscious of ways that I live 'Jesus and his cross'?
there something that God is inviting me to lay down in my life at this time?
Any scripture from the text; 2 Cr. 4:10-12; 2 Cr. 5: 19-21;
Gal. 2: 19B-20
TIME TO EXPIATE"
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