REFLECTION CAPSULE – April 29, 2021: Thursday

“Being a joyful ‘Ambassador’ for Christ and His Kingdom!”

(Based on Acts 13:13-25 and Jn 13:16-20 – Thursday of the 4th Week in Eastertide)

An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high ranking diplomat who represents a state.

He/she is usually accredited to another sovereign state, or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign.

The ambassadors have some general functions…

Diplomatic :

Conducting negotiations with the host government, representing their state in meetings and delivering messages on behalf of their own government, receiving messages the host government for relay back to their own; being the spokesperson for their government etc.

Ceremonial:

Representing their government at public events in that host country and being the most visible symbol of their own country

Administrative:

Overseeing the operations at the embassy and of other diplomats and staff.

This word “ambassador” is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavour.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus, the “Ambassador” of His Heavenly Father, and who in turn, invites each of us to be His Ambassador and of His Kingdom in our world.

Jesus says: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send, receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives the One who sent Me” (Jn 13:20)

Jesus came into this world to reveal the love and mercy of God.

He is Love made flesh and Mercy Incarnate.

While on earth, Jesus sought to be the perfect Representative of God, His Almighty and Beloved Father.

Finding deep communion in long hours of prayer, Jesus would emphatically give witness to His Father…
… by His mighty deeds of power, spectacular wonders of healing and His heart-touching words of eternal life.

This mission of being the Ambassador of the Father, was however, not without its shares of pain for Jesus…
… He had the face the pain of being rejected by His own people
… He had to bear the agony of being betrayed by His own chosen one
… He had to face the humiliation of the worst form of execution known those days

Yet, none of this could deter the Lord from choosing to be the “Ambassador” for the Kingdom of Heaven.

He today invites each one of us to be an “Ambassador” for Him and His Kingdom.

Like an ambassador of the state or a country, perhaps we too have certain functions and roles as being the privileged “Ambassador for Christ”…

Diplomatic:
In the sense of not being compromising, but a function that makes us to be convinced and passionate in preaching the message of the Lord and His Kingdom to others.

Nothing should bring us low or falter us from standing firm in proclaiming His Word and standing for His Gospel virtues.

Ceremonial:
In the sense of not being show-off or parading mere externally, rather a duty that requires of us to make our very lives and every action a witness of the Love and Mercy of God.

Our very words should reflect the goodness of the Lord Our very actions should radiate the gentleness and holiness of the Lord
Our very life should mirror the self-sacrificing and altruistic nature of the Lord.

Administrative
In the sense of not being power-hungry or position-seekers, rather, with a servant-like attitude, seeking the good and upliftment of others.

As a representative of Christ, we must also feel the obligation within us to bring others to the faith in Jesus and make His message of love and holiness to spread to all.
The spiritual growth of the other ought to become a genuine concern for me!

St Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians echoes this call and invite of the Lord, to be His Ambassadors…
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Cor 5:18-20).

We read in the Acts of the Apostles of St Paul along with other companions giving a public witness to Jesus and thus becoming His ambassador! (Acts 13:14 ff)

May we also be firm and joyful in being an “Ambassador for Christ and His Kingdom!”

We also seek the intercession today, of St Catherine of Siena – the patron saint of Europe and the first woman along with St Teresa of Avila, to be declared as Doctor of the Church – on her feast day.

Her words are an inspiration to us, especially, when we are invited to be “ambassadors of faith” in this time of the pandemic: “Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man…
… God does nothing without this goal in mind!”

God bless! Live Jesus!


Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
PROVIDENCE AND THE SCANDAL OF EVIL
Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love.

They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world.
God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it…
… “For almighty God, because He is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works, if He were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.”
In time we can discover that God in His Almighty Providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: “It was not you”, said Joseph to his brothers, “who sent me here, but God. You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.”17
From the greatest moral evil ever committed – the rejection and murder of God’s only Son, caused by the sins of all men – God, by his grace that “abounded all the more,”…
… brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.
“We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him.
The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth: St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: “Nothing can come but that that God wills. And I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best.”
Dame Julian of Norwich: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith, and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time – that ‘all manner (of) thing shall be well.'”

We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God “face to face”, will we fully know the ways by which – even through the dramas of evil and sin – God has guided his creation to that definitive Sabbath Rest for which he created heaven and earth. (Cf. CCC # 309-310) -308)

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