The Gospel today is one that I have heard proclaimed hundreds of times while I was growing up. “The Great Commission” it is sometimes called—the moment when Christ says to his disciples, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. I grew up as a Protestant missionary, and this was the command that ordered all of our steps. Looking back on those days, I sometimes marvel at how far away I feel from that call. I often wish my children had the wealth of perspective and compassion that comes from living with and ministering to the poorest among us, and yet I also marvel at how motherhood is the perfect fulfillment of the call of Jesus on that mountain in Galilee.
We have been called, you and I, to make disciples of these perfect, precious souls entrusted to us by God, to raise them up in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, so that they can then go into the world and do the same.
God, in his infinite goodness and love, reminds us—even as Jesus calls his doubtful disciples—that everything he does is relational. It is in the perfect and self-giving relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that our salvation was born, and it is in the relationship between man, woman, and God that souls are born for the kingdom of heaven. No matter what the world may say, every child has a mother and a father, and every child is born out of the love of the God who created him. My children may never see the inside of a hut in Haiti, but they will understand that God has called them to love, that his love is perfect, and that he calls them to bring that love to a world that is aimlessly searching for love and crying out in need.
The reading in Romans today is equally rich and timely: For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!” Herein lies our great hope! The hope that should mobilize us to spread the good news, the hope that has to change the way we live. We are all born into some form of brokenness, certainly some more than others, but the spirit of adoption that Paul speaks of allows us to call out to God, the maker of the universe, and find our identity and purpose. The world is enslaved by fear, doubt, emptiness, and disordered efforts to find happiness. Today, we are reminded that we are children of God. As mothers, the love for our children resonates in our very being. Imagine how much greater God’s love is for each of us.
This is your mission field, dear mother. God has called you to make disciples, and that is what you are doing. Bask in the hope of your salvation today, for you are an heir of the most high King!