The focus of our readings today is one of mission and of love. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus instructs his followers to boldly proclaim to others "to live as we do, say what we do." Those are bold words, and how are they done? They are done by living a life of service of love and forgiveness. Matthew is not clumsy when he illustrates this in his gospel. He is deliberate; he is thoughtful; he says clearly what we are to do. We are to offer ourselves up as sacrifice for another, as servants to one another.
Paul's letter to the Thessalonians instructs his followers to tell others not just to live by the words of Christ but to give their very lives -- their very beings. They are to offer themselves as living sacrifice in the world, to be Christ for others to live a life of service and of love.
There's a story told of a woman who works downtown. She is in an office and every day she has to go down into the streets across the alley to her favorite lunch place. It is in a downtown metropolitan area, and so there are always a number of homeless people on the street corner who are begging for money. On one particular day, she was in a bit of a foul mood and was traveling down the steps outside her building. There on the right side she saw a mother and her young child begging for money. Inside she had rage and got angry with God. Inside, her voice said "God, why do you allow this to happen, how could you allow children to be homeless and hungry. Why don't you do something about this?” Immediately a voice came back to her and said, "I did; I created you.”
I think that is the message of the gospel. We are created to be Christ in the world today. We are created to be Christ for others; to live the gospel not just with our words but with our actions.
Terry Battaglia was born and raised in Ohio in a very Italian Catholic family.
She knew at a very young age that she wanted to minister in the church.
She has been in full time ministry for the past 36 years. Terry and her husband Bob Mlakar have been married for over 27 years. They have two children. David who is 25 and a professional magician and illusionist and a daughter Nicki who is 20 and a junior at John Carroll university. Terry currently is a pastoral minister at Church of the Resurrection.