Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Janelle Sevier, SNDdeN
July 11, 2021
Mark 6: 7-13
Today’s Gospel reading gives us a sense of the urgency which Jesus had for the mission he had been given. And we see Jesus passing on that urgency and passion to his disciples.
He sent them out, by twos, giving them the authority of being his disciples and telling them they need take nothing other than sandals and a walking stick.
I wonder how these disciples felt about their being sent…
They would have known the story of Amos which we heard in the first reading. How the prophet Amos went when sent by God and how he was banished and sent away after doing what God asked. These same disciples had just been with him in Nazareth, his home, when the people there “took offense” at him and they all had to leave that area. And now, Jesus was sending them out to preach the very same message, with no physical support except for walking, and no spiritual or emotional support other than their experience of Jesus himself.
Amazingly, they went… “preaching repentance, driving out demons, and curing the sick. “
Jesus invites them (and us) into radical trust and dependence. It seems the only real requirement is trust that Jesus knows what he is doing. Their strength was in their relationship with and belief in Jesus. Their proclamation was accompanied by Jesus’ power and authority—that was it.
And that was enough.
Later in this same chapter of Mark the disciples came back and reported all that they had been able to do, in his name. Actually, their proclamation was also accompanied by their faith in Jesus. The disciples may have wavered on occasion, but their love of Jesus shines through- making them effective proclaimers of the good news.
And so- what about us? Am I ready, first of all, to be sent and then to be faithful to the mission of proclaiming the reign of God? Am I willing to surrender to dependence rather than independence? Am I willing to take only “staff and sandals?” That is- to take only what is absolutely necessary for proclaiming the good news? What/Who supports me (my staff) in my preaching Jesus to others? Am I willing to focus on the mission rather than anything to assure me that I will be okay? Am I willing to have others reject me or my message and then move on and proclaim again, without replaying the drama over and over? Shaking dust off one’s feet is not always easy.
Jesus’ way of sending us out is intended to help us focus on what we are called to do and on who we are called to be. We are called, we are empowered with Jesus’ own authority, and we are sent.
See you on the road.
Mark 6: 7-13
Jesus 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. 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. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
The Gospel of the Lord