Christ bids us to come - and go Print
Cutting Edge
Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

Cutting Edge by Sr. Margie Lavonis

I have a ritual I practice on New Year’s Eve or day, depending on what is going on in my life. I take some quiet time to review how God has worked in my life over the past year.

Last year I recalled a journal entry that summarized a talk I still remember. It was given during a day of prayer. The presenter, a wonderful Holy Cross priest, made a simple but profound statement. He said that Christian discipleship can be summed up by two words — “Come” and “Go.”

‘Centered in their master’

Jesus first invites his disciples to come, to come and be loved and nourished by him. “Come to me all you who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest (or whatever else you need)!”

Disciples are centered in their master. As faithful disciples of Christ, we must come to him frequently to deepen our relationship. Disciples must sit at the feet of the master and learn all they can about him. To know, in the biblical sense of the word, means to have an intimate relationship, a special friendship.

True disciples must also be steeped in the master’s values. Jesus says, “Come,” and we respond in prayer, reading Scripture, and, by just being in God’s presence, allowing God to love and nurture us.

A follow-up command

Christian discipleship, however, does not stop there. Jesus has a follow-up command. He tells us to “Go!”

It is a blessing to experience God’s love and care and to bask in the knowledge that we are special, but that is not enough. Jesus calls his disciples to go and bring this experience of God’s love to others.

Like Jesus, we too are sent to reveal God’s love to the world. This was the focus of Jesus’ ministry and is also of all who call themselves his disciples. It is our Christian mission.

It is not enough to have love as an ideal. We must make love a concrete reality in our daily lives. Opportunities to show this love in profound ways do not come often, but every day we are presented with multiple little ways to show God’s love.

A responsible disciple must examine how well he or she follows this command. Each evening, or sometime during the day, it is important to reflect upon the concrete ways we showed or neglected to show love.

Small examples of showing love

Some small examples of opportunities to show God’s love are reaching out to someone who is visibly upset rather than keeping our eyes down and trying to get away from the person. Or maybe we find ourselves in the middle of a large traffic jam and we can allow another driver to move into our lane.

We can show love by a simple smile at people who cross our paths. It is a way to recognize and tell someone they matter.

Inviting someone who rarely gets out to a game or show or offering to work the weekend for a fellow employee so she can attend a family reunion are also ways of showing God’s love.

Every day presents us with multiple ways to show love but often we do not put them in the category of actions of a disciple, but they are. Every act of kindness we perform carries out the good news of Jesus and the mission he gives to us.

There is more than one way to preach the good news. Actions often speak louder than words. For some people we may be the only bible they see.

So let us answer the Lord’s invitation to Come and be loved by him so we can Go and show God’s love to others every day. Not just during the Christmas season!

Sr. Margie Lavonis, a freelance writer, is a Sister of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Ind.