4th Week of Ordinary Time (7th February, 2019)
First Reading: Heb 12:18-19,21-24
Gospel: Mk 6:7-13
In the Gospel of Mark today, Jesus summoned his 12 disciples and sent them in pairs giving them the authority over unclean spirits.
Jesus gave clear instruction that they should not take anything extra for travel.
no bread, no haversack (modern day back pack), no copper coins, no spare tunic (an overcoat of knee length), wear a pair of sandals.
Once they enter a district, stay in one house till they leave the district.
If a place does not accept them, remove the dust from the sandals as a sign to the people.
Then they started in pairs, preached repentance, cast out many devils and anointed with oil many sick people.
When in pairs, in a new place, they can work as a team. One complementing the other. We too can follow, especially in any mission work.
When Jesus ordered them not to have a stand by in any of what we use, then it should be “My grace is sufficient” as St. Paul wrote. The universal provider will take care.
When they do their mission in a district, stick to one house till the mission is accomplished. Jesus knew that the holy spirit will guide them to the right house.
Jesus also warned them indirectly that they will not be accepted everywhere, leave the district, acknowledging that we have shared the Good news and the truth. It’s up to you…God has conveyed through the disciples what they should know and follow.
If we had a compelling God, who did not give a free will, this world would have been filled with around 7.7 billion believers. We are about 2.3 billion now.
Perhaps, today’s Gospel is a call for us to go out and the good news or live the bible way so that more are benefited through us and follow us. Amen.