Tuesday of the 5th Week of Lent
Jesus, the Father’s Ambassador
I remember when I was still in my elementary days. Our teacher asked each one of us to introduce ourselves to our classmates during the first day of classes because we have new classmates in our class. And so we began by saying: “I Am Joseph Benitez. I AM 8 years old. I AM like this…I AM like that,” and so on and so forth. All of us know that when we introduce ourselves to somebody or to a group we give a piece and parcel of ourselves, so they will have at least a little knowledge of us. ‘I AM’ signifies ourselves as this or that person.
Jesus Himself in today’s gospel passage uses the phrase ‘I AM’ to signify the same. This phrase is the special Hebrew title of God, “He Who Is” (Yahweh). Jesus, by saying, ‘I Am,’ is confident of His identity. That He is the Beloved Son of the Father sent into the world. He is the Christ who is faithful to His mission: “I say only what the Father taught me… …I always do what is pleasing to Him,” (v. 28, 29). Through these words Jesus is using the image of an ambassador. That He is the Father’s Ambassador to the world and to us. An ambassador is an authorized representative of a country. He speaks not in his own name but on behalf of the one who sent him whose whole duty and responsibility is to interpret the mind of the one sending faithfully to those to whom he is sent. Christ, as Father’s Ambassador, fits in to this image because He proclaims the facts of the gospel and its promises. He urges us, sinners to receive God’s reconciliation and His message of the good news of the Kingdom. The figure of ambassadorship highlights the authority He has and He is faithful too to His commission as the one being sent by the Father. Because of this self-possession, He is very sure of His identity.
We Christians are Christ’s ambassadors also or the ones being sent by Him to speak and do on His behalf. We say and do, not for our own consumption, but for the growth of the Kingdom of God here on earth so that God shall be known to all. This is now the public side of our faith, because faith is not just a private matter. Well-lived lives are examples good Christians can offer. And I would like to tell you this true story in order to have a glimpse on what an ambassador is doing and looked-like.
A missionary was seated on a plane next to a well-dressed young man and they soon began conversing. The missionary asked him what he did for a living. He answered, “I’m in big business.” “So am I,” replied the missionary. With that the young man remarked, “I cover the entire U.S. with my business.” “Well,” said the missionary, “I’ve travelled all over the world in connection with mine.” The young man continued: “I’m in partnership with my father. He’s a millionaire.” The missionary smiled and said, “I, too, am in partnership with my Father. He’s a multimillionaire.” The young man said, “We have representatives in most states.” The missionary replied, “We have representatives in almost every country in the world.” By this time the young man looked at the missionary and said, “What sort of business are you in, anyway?” When the missionary explained, the young man said, “Sir, you’re not just in big business. You’re in the biggest!” Yes my dear friends we have a big business to do and to accomplish. And this business is the God’s business of eternal life which is offered to all with His guidance and help.
At the end let reflect too these word coming from an unknown author who says: “It is not what men eat but what they digest that makes them strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christians.”