Two by two go on the road to share the mercy of God
Reflections on the readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 15, 2018): AM 7:12-15; PS 85:9-10,11-12,13-14; EPH 1:3-14; MK 6:7-13
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In the Gospel for today we find Jesus giving very specific instructions to the Apostles about how they are to go out and share His message of redemption.
They were to demonstrate great faith in Him because they were to take virtually nothing with them: no food, no money, not even a change of clothing. The Twelve were forced to depend on the help that God would provide for them through the good will of those they met. The people whom the Apostles helped, inspired and converted to the word of Christ would fulfill their needs. “Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.… So they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them” (Mark 6:7,12-13).
Christ knew that not everyone would welcome those who taught in His name. He warned the Twelve to “shake the dust” from their feet after encountering such people. But the Apostles were not to let rejection stop them from spreading the faith. Everyone they met had to hear about the need to repent, to turn away from sin and towards God. Our Almighty Father was offering them mercy, forgiveness – and, ultimately, eternal life. People had to understand that our Lord required a change of heart and soul. This as true today as it was two thousand years ago. It is up to us to remember and share our firm belief in Christ’s compassion.