“Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” What a powerful way to end Mass.
Sometimes a priest might choose, “Go forth glorifying God with your lives,” or “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord,” but the underlying theme is the same: Go.
It’s a commissioning, a reminder of our baptismal call to mission. Some of us are called to go to the far corners of the world while others are called to serve just down the street.
When we “go” – especially when we’re on mission or volunteering – we might mistakenly think we are bringing God to others. But when we go out to the margins of society and the world, we follow God. We are not saviors, but servants. We cannot bring God to a place where he already exists.
In the Gospel we hear, “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there my servant be.” (John 12:26)
We follow him to the homeless shelter, to the prison, to the developing country, to encounter him where he always is: in the humanity of every single one of our brothers and sisters. That is why we are there: to share in God’s love.
This Lent, I wonder, “Where does my master want me to follow him? Where can I go love and serve the Lord?”
Bridget Higginbotham is the communications manager and former Nonprofit Servant Leadership associate at Franciscan Mission Service