Thursday, 23 April 2015


Jesus thought   big. He commissioned the eleven disciples in these words,
“'All  authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and  teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always;  yes,  to the end of time.'” (Mtt.28.46).

It is clear that the scope of the ministry Jesus entrusted to His disciples was much, much greater – the whole world – than the ministry Jesus assigned to Himself…what is now known as Palestine.
 However, Jesus did promise to be with them ‘always, yes to the end of time’ whereas these men would be around for a hundred years or so at best. And what is more, Jesus claimed that He had been given all power in heaven and on earth….surely, the unique power that belongs to God alone. 
Yes, Jesus thought  big. Jesus was ambitious. Jesus was determined. What is more, Jesus was effective. In truth, I should be saying Jesus IS effective. Jesus is not a ‘Has Been.’ Jesus is not ‘Yesterday’s Man.’ The Letter to the Hebrews tells us,
“”Jesus Christ is the same today as He was yesterday and as He will be forever,”(Heb. 13. 8).
Jesus, our risen Lord, is far more than a beautiful memory that has been handed on to us of this generation. This means we must understand more than that Jesus is an ever-present  heroic  inspiration to us; more than a reassuring, loving companion, reliable friend to us.
Jesus enables us, empowers us,  to  work on His behalf.  He acts through us. There is a unity, a bonding between Jesus and ourselves that is truly mystical.
For me it’s so important to remember  this and to draw strength from this. At this moment  there is so much in our  world that is discouraging, depressing and even frightening. ..far more than we can cope with! 
Immediately come to my mind intractable diseases such as Ebola;  thousands of refugees  scrambling for safety, security even survival…  hundreds – whole families – are  perishing at  sea; In recent times random terrorism has taken on a face that is horrific and obscene.  I feel   so angry   at the financial plundering  by business and banking moguls. Modern life has become so demeaning  with the cherished value of personal privacy being obliterated by the intrusion  of hacking and security scanning.
In a melancholy mood I think of the musical,                                                    ‘STOP THE WORLD – I WANT TO GET OFF!’                                                  Later rather than sooner  I  ponder, ‘Surely someone must have the answer?  Throw wealth and  technology  at our problems?   Surely somewhere   there  must be the good-will to make this into a better world? ‘
I’m convinced that Jesus is now calling us, His followers, to dig deep into our primary beliefs and certainties. He does not want us to allow ourselves to be daunted by our personal, undeniable, inadequacies and blemishes.
Nor are we to be disillusioned by the way our Church, the Church of which Jesus is the Head, has sullied its reputation.
It is with humility that we, as Church,  must  continue to preach a message of  hope and deliverance rooted in the loving mercy of  God and His Almighty power. We as Church must set the lead in our being repentant.  We must allow ourselves to be transformed as we grasp out towards the Holiness of God.   
At this point I want to draw  your  attention to a few verses of Sacred Scripture which should do more than cheer you up:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me,” (Jn.14.1).
“In the world you will have troubles, but be courageous; I have conquered the world,” (Jn.16.33).
“Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1Jn. 5.5).
Our greatest mistake would be to act as though we had to find the answers to all the evils in the world.   If we tried, would be doomed to fail.
St. Paul wants us to be reassured. We are not destitute. We are not incompetent. Rather, he tells us, 
 “ All our competence comes from God.  He has given us the competence to be ministers of a new covenant, a covenant which is not of written letters, but of the Spirit; for the written letters kill, but the Spirit gives life.(2 Cor.3.6).
With these thoughts I leave you and turn to the illustration accompanying this meditation and sing to myself;

‘He's got the whole world in his hands;                                                                He's  got the whole wild world in his hands;
He's got the whole wild world in his hands;                                                     He's got the whole world in his hands’
Peace be with you

Peter Clarke, OP

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