November 4, 2009 // Uncategorized

We are ambassadors for Christ

In St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians he tells them that they are ambassadors for Christ. We hear that same statement every Ash Wednesday, and it was one of the readings for daily Mass last summer. Every time I read or hear those words they send chills up my spine. What a huge responsibility to be an ambassador, let alone an ambassador for Christ.

Ambassadors are people who represent others or causes and speak on their behalf. It is both awesome and sometimes scary to think that the Scriptures tell us that we are to speak for Christ. That is a serious responsibility and not to be taken lightly.

In order to speak for Christ we obviously need to know what Christ taught and what he would say or do in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. To be an ambassador for the Lord we must be in an active relationship with him. That calls for regular prayer and study of the Scriptures.

Perhaps you have thought that only the clergy or other ministers of the church are the ones called to be ambassadors. That is not so. Paul’s letter to those people in Corinth was not directed only to the leaders. He was writing to all the members of the church in that community.

Every Christian is called to represent Christ. Many times Jesus told us that we, like him, must reveal his father’s love. That is how we build God’s kingdom in the world. Christ’s mission did not end when he ascended into heaven. He sent his Spirit to help us continue to proclaim God’s message. The way we do this is by striving to live as he did, by following his example.

Several years ago young Christians often used the saying WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). It was on T-shirts, armbands, signs, etc. Using this saying was popular for a couple of years but, like other fads, it died down. Even so, it can still have a lot of meaning for us. There are times when it is good to ask what Jesus would do in certain situations. In fact, it is a good measurement for our behavior.

If Jesus were in a group of people who started to talk about and tear down someone’s reputation, he would probably try to change the subject or point out the harm being done. Maybe he would write things on the sidewalk. However, I am not suggesting that!

If Jesus were at a party with friends and the person who drove them there began to drink too much, he certainly wouldn’t let his friend drive. He probably would get a designated driver or call a cab. He also would encourage his friend to stop drinking.

If Jesus knew of some wrongdoing at work, he would no doubt risk being unpopular or losing his job and say something to the authorities. He wouldn’t just ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening.

If Jesus were in the middle of a group that was telling ethnic, racist or gay jokes, he undoubtedly would walk away or speak out against such hurtful “fun” and risk being accused of not having a sense of humor or thinking he was better than others.

If Jesus saw a sign posted that help was desperately needed in a homeless center or soup kitchen but had other plans to go out with friends, most probably he would change his plans and invite his friends to help.

If Jesus were on the way to class or an appointment and he noticed someone crying or in trouble, chances are that he would stop and see how he could console the person.

A saint once said that God has no hands or feet but ours. We are called to use our hands and feet and every other part of our selves to be Christ for the world, to be his ambassadors. It is an awesome but rewarding challenge.

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