The Great Sending
3rd Sunday of Easter
April 15, 2018
When Jesus appears in the gospels after rising from the dead, he is always a commanding presence. We know immediately that something has changed! In each Easter appearance, Jesus confirms the faith of the disciples and gives them a mission. What mission has the Lord given to me?
When we attend Mass, we have an encounter with the resurrected Jesus in order to confirm and strengthen our faith. We hear the Lord speak in the Scriptures as surely as if it were coming from his own mouth. When we partake of the Eucharist, we receive his Body and Blood as surely as the disciples did at the last supper. At the end of Mass, (the last thing the priest says in the original Latin) is Ite Missa est, which literally means Go, you are sent.
At the end of Mass we are sent forth back into the world with our mission: to proclaim the good news of the Lord Jesus in our daily lives, by what we say and what we do. Our mission is to do our bit each day to bring the good news of Jesus to others around us. We are the disciples he is talking to. Our manner of life is our witness.
This is emphasized by the dismissal at the end of Mass: "Ite, Missa est", which recalls the "Missio", the task of those who have taken part in the celebration to bring to everyone the Good News they have received and with it, to bring life to society. Benedict XVI 9 Oct 2006
In fact the very word “Mass” itself is derived from this ending “Missa” (sent, as on a mission); we have come to worship the Lord, to encounter Jesus, and to receive our great task, our mission from Christ when we gather together.
The new revised translation of the Mass has included several new Mass “dismissals” that express what God wishes from us quite well. So instead of hearing “the Mass is ended, go in peace” as we once did, we also hear “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord!” or “Go in Peace, glorifying the Lord with your lives,” or, more simply, “Go in peace (alleluia, alleluia).”
The Lord’s daily mission for us is to always strive to glorify him by what we say and what we do, to be different from the world around us that does not know Christ, being as it were, ambassadors for Christ among those without the great hope of our faith and thus fulfill the great sending forth that we are called to be a part of!