February 4, 2021 (readings)
- Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
- Lisa Small
He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Opening Prayer: Lord, as I come into your presence, open my heart to experience your love for me. Let me hear your voice, so personal, so constant in my life, as I read this Scripture which you desire to be living and active in my life. Reveal your heart to me. I offer all and surrender all to you, whatever may happen in this time of prayer. Whatever you will Lord, as long as you want and however you want. No matter how I come now to this time of prayer, I want you to know I am here because I love you. You are the most important thing to me, and this prayer time is the most important thing I could do today. Bless my poor efforts with the gift of yourself. Here I am Lord; speak to me.
1. He Gave Them Authority: Each of the Apostles was personally called and chosen by Christ after much prayer and discernment. He knew their strengths, talents, qualities, and gifts, and he also knew their weaknesses, failings, and struggles. And he still called them. He formed them through his own witness of life—how he lived and prayed. He also taught and instructed them, assuring them that he would accompany them in spirit by sending them forth in his name. Jesus entrusted them with this mission of making present his kingdom through their witness, prayer, and sacrifice, and with his authority.
2. Two by Two: Christ sent them out together. He knew that they would lean on each other, and find support and encouragement as they worked together and modeled charity in the way that they related to each other in love. How much we need community in our own lives! We are not lone rangers as we seek to make Christ’s kingdom present in the world. That was not his design. Even Jesus communed with the Holy Spirit as he revealed to people the heart of his Father. Let’s thank God for the people he has placed alongside us to accompany us on the journey through this life to heaven.
3. They Bore Fruit: Jesus was very clear about what he was calling the Apostles to do, and they set off to fulfill his instructions. The Scripture tells us that they did in fact fulfill that mission. They drove out demons and miraculously healed many who were sick. The mission unfolded as Christ had predicted, and their obedience, trust, and surrender bore fruit. They were able to touch many people on their journey in Christ’s name. If we discern the path that Christ wants us to follow and we take action, he will bless it. But it takes time to create space for him to reveal that plan, and discernment to intuit the quiet voice of Christ making known how and where he longs to mission alongside us. Let’s ask the Lord, “What can I do for you today?” and listen in the stillness for his answer.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you have drawn me close to yourself. Confirm me in the mission you entrust to me, that I may be a true friend and witness to others. Please allow my small efforts to bear great fruit. Continue to bless those with whom you send me, that we may be a sign of charity and love rooted in friendship with you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace show me if there is someone with whom you want me to mission more often or with a deeper sense of communion.
For Further Reflection: Read the USCCB's Best Practices to Teach the Spirit of Mission for all clergy and catechists.
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