ADVENT REFLECTIONS: THE TREASURES OF VATICAN II
“From the fact of their union with Christ the head flows the laymen’s right and duty to be apostles. Inserted as they are in the Mystical Body of Christ by baptism and strengthened by the Holy Spirit in confirmation, it is by the Lord himself that they are assigned to the apostolate.”
(Decree on the Apostolate of Laypeople)
By Mary Gavacs
We have the right and responsibility to be apostles. A heavy assignment, yes?
Traditionally, apostle is defined as someone who is entrusted with a mission and Merriam Webster online provides several synonyms for apostle, including advocate, backer, booster, champion, exponent, friend, herald, promoter, proponent, supporter and true believer. Now that we are clear on what an apostle is, what is the mission we are sent on? Scripture guides us in that, but if each of us looks into our hearts; can it simply be to just be the goodness that we are?
Love, truth, hope, kindness, patience. If we put love first, that will guide us on our mission, guide us in our choice of behavior, and guide us in how we interact with others.
What more do we need for a mission? If we act with love, the goodness that we are at the core, then the peace and justice we all seek will follow. Then we will be the champion, friend and supporter that an apostle is.
The heavy assignment of being an apostle is within our reach. No need for a separate trip to a faraway land to complete the apostolic mission. It can be done every day; in the greeting to those we know and those we don’t, holding the door open, exercising patience, responding positively, showing mercy and providing an encouraging word.
God is love, and so are we. It is our right and responsibility to give it a try this Advent season.
Mary Gavacs teaches in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, is a certified yoga teacher, and volunteers at the Emmaus Ministries Kids Café.