We have been given many great commandments by Jesus Christ in the gospels (and one in Acts as well). The high majority revolve around love, i.e. loving our neighbor, love as Christ loved us. However, the first and last commandments are overlooked like a homeless man on the corner.
I was reminded of these bookend commandments last night at a presentation by Fr. Luke Veronis, priest and pastor from MA. I spend much of my time on the last commandment, to go forth and make disciples of all nations. However, I have been neglecting the first commandment of repentance.
After looking closer, I discerned three parts to the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. First, He called us to repent. Second, to love God and other’s as God as loves us. Third, to go forth and make disciples, teaching them His commandments.
Some of us struggle with pride, so we know repentance will give us humility. Others are selfish, and a sacrificial love will save our souls. However most of us avoid our personal responsibility to make disciples. How we make disciples is just as important as making the disciples. Repent, love, make disciples. Repeat.