Reflection for Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
This week we listen to Jesus as he sends the disciples out to preach of the need for repentance , and to heal the sick by casting out demons. This commission invites the disciples to share in Jesus’ own mission. In keeping with Jesus’ approach to his mission, he tells them to take nothing with them but a walking stick and sandals for their feet. Everything else they need will be provided for them. If it is not, then they are to shake the dust of the place from their feet and go to the next place.
As we hear this, we might’ve be thinking that Jesus expects a great deal. When we make a journey of several days, we are apt to do some careful planning. We take out maps and figure out. The best route, make reservations where we are going to stay and pack the car with suitcases, snacks and other equipment that we consider absolutely necessary. Even if we are more adventuresome, we will hardly leave without extra clothing and at least one credit card.
But, if we look closer at what Jesus is saying, we will realize that he is encouraging them to make the mission the focus of their attention. Thay are not to spend undue time and energy on getting ready for the journey or on moving about looking for more comfort accommodations. The task of preaching the Gospel is to be their only concern. This calls for a deep trust in God which enables them to depend on God completely for the success of their mission.
But what does it mean to be disciples and share in the mission of Jesus? Jesus ministered by announcing God’s forgiveness and acceptance of all, by forming a community that would show forth. This gracious love of God for all in their relationships, and by performing acts of service and justice that would bear witness the te reign of God had arrived. We, too, can proclaim the Gospel through the words we speak, through the quality of our relationships and through the deeds we perform.
Parent proclaim the Gospel to their children when they teach them to pray or tell them stories of faith. Friends minister to one another when they share their experiences of the presence of God in their lives. We carry on the ministry of Jesus every time we speak a word of comfort, of hope, of trust in God. We bear witness that God is intimately involved in our lives to save us, to make us whole, and to bring us to the fullness of life. Through us a God reaches out to touch and to heal.
If we are to share in Jesus’ mission, we must act justly and serve – especially the poor, the alienated and the oppressed . We must act to cast out demons, the demons of selfishness, greed, domination and discrimination and cripple and destroy. We can feel that this is beyond our ability, but if we focus on the mission of Jesus and not on our own limitations, we can depend on God to give us what we need and to make our ministry fruitful.
May God bless you all !
Your brother in Christ