Your Unique Mission

quiet watersPlanned Parenthood.  It’s the familiar name of an organization involved in promoting artificial contraception and abortion services—both of which go against the teachings of the Catholic Church.  But it’s the word “planned” that is intriguing—as if the creation of a baby could in any way be accidental.  Certainly, there are children who are conceived outside of a marriage, or at a time or circumstance in the lives of their parents when either one or both of them might not have anticipated or even hoped for a child to enter their lives.  But no person is an accident.  No person is unplanned by God. “I am your Creator.  You were in My care even before you were born” (Isaiah 44:2).  As Christians, we are confident in knowing that the Creator of the universe planned everything about us, from when we’d be born and to which set of parents, to the color of our eyes and the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). 
 
And if He planned us, then He also must have had a reason for our lives.  In Scripture, He tells us that we are made “to be holy” (Ephesians 1:4).  “Holy” means “set apart for God.”  We are created to be like Jesus Christ, to become like Him in our mind, our heart, our feelings and our sentiments so that we can continue His mission—so that we can be Christ to the world.  Jesus Himself tells us what He wants of us.  Our mission from Him is so important, so critical, that He explains it five times in five different ways in Scripture.  In Matthew, He tells His followers, “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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (28:16-20).  This is called “The Great Commission” and has been the mission of His Church since the moment Jesus spoke these words.  But it’s also the mission of each one of us as His children.  Remember that He planned you from before the foundation of the world.  He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).  Despite what the world tells you, He tells you that you are precious and wanted and loved.  He calls you to know Him and to serve Him.  You are chosen by God.
 
He chooses us to come to Him and then commissions us to go for Him.  Many people think only priests or religious or missionaries are called by Him to spread the good news of the Gospel.  Not true!  Remember the story of Isaiah, when he heard the Lord asking,”Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  Isaiah didn’t stop to think who might be better-suited or more well-trained or be a better speaker than him.  He didn’t think of himself at all, but he heard the call of God and responded.  He said, “Here am I, Lord; send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)  This should be our own prayer, as well.  For the Church is not a hotel, it’s our family home.  In a hotel, we pay some money and other people do the work for us.  Just coming to Mass and putting something in the collection basket while others—the pastor, the parish staff, volunteers—do the work, isn’t living up to Christ’s call.  In a home, everyone pitches in.  We are commissioned by Him to put our unique gifts and graces to work for His glory.  This is the path for our salvation, after all.  It’s His plan for our lives.  It’s the reason He made you the singular and irreplaceable person that you are—because without you, we are all made less.  No one else can play your part in His wonderful and glorious plan of salvation.  “Before the world was made, He chose us” (Ephesians 1:3). 
 
“We have not come into the world to be numbered; we have been created for a purpose; for great things:   to love and be loved.”                                                     —Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)

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