7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, "Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them." 12 So they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.
I would like to invite you all to meditate on certain points, hoping you to choose one among these points for your daily gospel application.
Called and sent
Jesus had many followers. However, He has chosen very few to announce the Good News. Happily we are one among them. Called, consecrated in our baptism and sent to the whole world to be the witness of divine mercy. The more we remain connected to this self-awareness (of our call and consecration), the better will be our engagement.
Two by two
Though it is an individual call and vocation, Jesus wishes that our missionary endeavour be a communitarian engagement. Sending two by two, Jesus prepares us for any eventuality, firstly, we should learn to work together and in an eventual opposition or rejection by our beneficiaries, may our mission of announcing the Good News, may have a relay for the perpetuity.
Authority and dependence
Jesus has given us this divine authority to represent Him in our daily life, particularly in a witnessing life, and more importantly while announcing the Good News. It is here He wishes that we depend on the divine providence than the material necessities. All that we need, to announce the Good News, will be given in due time. It is in this total surrender to the divine will and our utter dependence in the divine providence that we can acquirer and act legitimately with the divine authority.
Jesus wishes to announce the Good News by responding to the basic human needs. God takes care not only our spiritual needs, but also our daily charnel needs. By the very fact of incarnation, He wishes to elevate us, from an ordinary being, to be a divine being. The best way of announcing the Good News is by responding positively to the daily needs of our brothers and sisters. It is in our daily events and moments of life that God wishes to encounter us.
Action of the Day: Learn to work together.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Jesus gives them power to heal and cast out evil spirits,
by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"The grace bestowed upon the holy apostles is worthy of all admiration. But the bountifulness of the Giver surpasses all praise and admiration. He gives them, as I said, his own glory. They receive authority over the evil spirits. They reduce to nothing the pride of the devil that was so highly exalted and arrogant. They render ineffectual the demon’s wickedness. By the might and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, burning them as if they were on fire, they make the devil come forth with groans and weeping from those whom he had possessed...
"He glorified his disciples, therefore, by giving them authority and power over the evil spirits and over sicknesses. Did he honor them without reason and make them famous without any logical cause? How can this be true? It was necessary, most necessary, that they should be able to work miracles, having been publicly appointed ministers of sacred proclamations. By means of their works, they then could convince men that they were the ministers of God and mediators of all beneath the heaven. The apostles then could invite them all to reconciliation and justification by faith and point out the way of salvation and of life that is this justification." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 47)