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Today’s Reading: Matthew 28:11-20
11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
Go therefore: Christ’s commission to evangelize and catechize the world fulfills God’s covenant oath to Abraham that “all the nations” would be blessed (Gen22:18; Gal 3:8). His outline for the Church’s mission is threefold:
(1) Evangelizing all nations involves more than winning individuals; it entails the conversion of entire cultures. Every area of life must be brought under the Lordship of Christ and in line with the gospel.
(2) The administration of the sacraments is essential to the Church’s mission and our response. Baptizing new converts is the first step in a long process of sanctification and participation in the life of the Church.
(3) The transmission of all that Christ taught necessitates the assistance of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church to proclaim the gospel infallibly (cf. Jn 14:26).
The Sacrament of Baptism incorporates Christians into the divine family of the Trinity as children of God (cf. Gal 3:26, 27). The single name of the Father, Son, and Spirit reveals the unity of God’s inner life and the oneness of his nature. This expression has become the normative baptismal formula for the Church (CCC 849, 1122,1257)