Commissioning. The traditional ending of the Mass is "Go, the Mass is
ended." I was in a parish recently and, after the last blessing, the presider
said: "And we say?" Then the entire congregation, with gusto and fiery enthusiasm,
cried out: "The Mass is not ended. We are sent forth now to share the Good News
with all we meet!" Though I'm sure that some liturgists and bishops would have
some deep concerns here, the point is well made. The Mass really doesn't end.
The Spirit sends us forth to make Jesus present and manifest at the shelter,
in the workplace, at the kitchen table, in the marketplace. Our worship points
to evangelization, and that work is done in and through the Holy Spirit.
Years ago I read a novel in which one of the characters said: "I must go where
the suffering is!" Rephrasing this, "We must go where the brokenness is to bring
God's unity and peace!" Both the "going" and the "unifying" are the work of
God's Spirit. That same Spirit empowers us to overcome the fear and apathy that
would make us stay at home or allow our liturgy to remain in-house. We are being
commissioned daily to be servants of peace and unity, agents of God's love and
joy, instruments of mercy and forgiveness.