Follow our Ancestry - Enlighten Posterity

First Reading ( Deut 4:32-34,39-40 : The Lord is the only God
Second Reading ( Rom 8:14-17 ) : The faithful are children of God
Gospel ( Mt 28:16-20 ) : Jesus commanded the disciples to baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity
Chinese Classics
:Act before the request;(1)

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. ( Mt 28:18-20 )

What the disciples received here is a .total・ commission, that is, they are to make .all nations・ become disciples, regardless of race, nationality, colour, gender or class, and no matter whether intelligent or not, rich or poor, all peoples are to become disciples. Previously they had been commissioned by Jesus to preach the good news to the Israelites only; but that was a .limited・ commission. Jesus even instructed them thus: :Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans;( Mt 10:5 ) Actually, there was a time when Jesus' own ministry was limited: :I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; ( Mt 15:24 )

Today Jesus' mission on earth is completed; he is about to return to his Father to give a full account of his mission. By now his authority is absolute and universal. Hence, his commission to his apostles is also universal. It is no longer limited to the Israelites alone, rather, they are to make disciples of .all nations・. Spreading the good news to all peoples necessitates going beyond all races and beyond boundaries; that is what Jesus commissioned the apostles to do, and what he has commissioned the church to do. The church must proclaim the good news to all the peoples of the whole world.

Besides this universal dimension, Jesus' commission embodies three important factors: 1) becoming disciples 2) administering baptism 3) obeying Jesus' teachings. The Church is not only to fulfil Jesus' injunction to administer baptism, most important is not that people become Christian and then .believers・, but that those who believe become .disciples・.

To .become a disciple・ signifies that the disciple esteems all that Jesus is and does and is willing to follow the Master, observe and listen to him, and also imitate the Master, live, work and struggle together with the Master.

Jesus called the first two disciples because they accepted his invitation: .come and see・. Therefore they .remained with him・ and followed his lifestyle. (cf. Jn 1:35-39).

Jesus' disciples lived together with him in order to spread the good news; Confucius' disciples traveled all over the country with Confucius to spread the spirit of benevolence; Mozi's disciples lived an extremely hard life together with their master, to spread a spirit of pacifism. In promoting any kind of martial art or kung fu, if the disciples have stayed long enough with their master, they are able to continue the master's martial skills and promote them. All of these are disciples, not just believers.

Through steady concentration and painstaking practice, some disciples can surpass their masters in their inherited techniques. Thus they glorify the master and extend his tradition. Another characteristic of discipleship is to listen attentively to their masters, wholeheartedly living out the master's commands. As Jesus said, :obey everything that I have commanded you.

In the story of :Aladdin and the Magic Lamp;, whenever the genie appeared, he would respectfully say to the .master・ of the magic lamp: :Master, your will is my command;. Confucius thought that the best filial son must :act before the request.;(1) This means one should be able to perform one's parents' wishes even before parents express them. The most important and most necessary condition for a disciple is to live according to the wishes of the master.

The first part of the Eucharistic celebration is listening to the Word of God. This demands that we pay close attention to what is being read so that we can discern God's will for us. The second part is the sacrificial offering. This calls us to offer our lives as our response, not merely offering ourselves as such, but including all that we have, our time, our money, our talents and our heart. This total offering expresses the supreme worship we owe to God.

Not to listen attentively to the word of God or neglecting to put his word into practice is tantamount to refusing to pay reverence or homage to God. Those who do not live according to Jesus' word cannot be Jesus' disciples. Jesus does not need an offering or adoration that is lip service only.

We first must be Jesus' disciples ourselves and live according to his word. Only then can we suggest to others to become Jesus' disciples and live according to his word. This is the first and last requirement of our faith.

Whether we are priests, sisters, parents or teachers, we all have a responsibility to nurture this kind of radical faith: to use our faith to inspire faith, our life to elicit life in others. This is how the life of the church is passed on to others.