We are ambassadors for Christ
In his Second Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul tells the people they are ambassadors for Christ. We hear that same statement every Ash Wednesday, and it was one of the summer’s readings for daily Mass. These words send chills up my spine every time I read or hear them. What a huge responsibility to be an ambassador, let alone an ambassador for Christ.
Ambassadors are people who represent others or causes and speak on their behalf. It is both awesome and sometimes scary to think that the Scriptures tell us that we are to speak for Christ. That is a serious responsibility and not to be taken lightly.
In order to speak for Christ we obviously need to know what Christ taught and what he would say or do in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. To be an ambassador for the Lord we must be in an active relationship with him. That calls for regular prayer and study of the Scriptures.
Perhaps you thought that only the clergy or other ministers of the church are called to be ambassadors. That is not so. Paul’s letter to the people in Corinth was not directed only to the leaders. He was writing to all the members of the church in that community.
Every Christian is called to represent Christ. Many times Jesus told us that we, like him, must reveal his Father’s love. That is how we build God’s kingdom in the world. Christ’s mission did not end when he ascended into heaven. He sent his Spirit to help us continue to proclaim God’s message. The way we do this is by striving to live as he did, by following his example.
Several years ago, young Christians often used the expression “WWJD.” (What would Jesus do?) It was on T-shirts, armbands, signs, etc. This saying was popular for a couple of years but, like other fads, it died down. Even so, it still can have a lot of meaning for us. There are times when it is good to ask what Jesus would do in certain situations. In fact, it is a good measurement for our behavior.
If Jesus were in a group of people who started to talk about and tear down someone’s reputation, he probably would try to change the subject or point out the harm being done. Maybe he would write things on the sidewalk. However, I am not suggesting that!
If Jesus were celebrating with friends and the person who drove them to the party began to drink too much, he certainly would not let his friend drive. He probably would get a designated driver or call a cab. He also would encourage his friend to stop drinking.
If Jesus knew of some wrongdoing at work, he no doubt would risk being unpopular or losing his job and say something to the authorities. He would not just ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening.
If Jesus were in the middle of a group that was telling ethnic, racist or gay jokes, he undoubtedly would walk away or speak out against such hurtful “fun” and risk being accused of not having a sense of humor or thinking he was better than others.
If Jesus saw a posted sign saying that help was desperately needed in a homeless center or soup kitchen but he had plans to go out with friends, most probably he would change his plans and invite his friends to help.
If Jesus were on the way to class or an appointment and he noticed someone crying or in trouble, chances are that he would stop and see how he could console the person.
A saint once said that God has no hands or feet but ours. We are called to use our hands and feet and every other part of our selves to be Christ for the world, to be his ambassadors. It is an awesome but rewarding challenge.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, browse our “Living the Faith” archive to read some of Sister Margie’s past reflections.