A reading from the gospel according to Luke 9:1-6
1 Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,
2 and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
3 He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.
4 Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
5 And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
6 Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
Good News: Jesus gave His apostles power and authority
Pointers for reflection
1. Jesus empowers those whom He calls before He sends them.
The 12 apostles have been with Jesus for quite some times by now. They have witnessed many miracles and heard many teachings. Now Jesus is sending them on a mission with the power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. This is a great lesson in leadership here: empowering subordinates, giving them the tools they need to accomplish their tasks.
Recall that the 12 apostles were ordinary individuals. Yet, with the power and authority Jesus gave them, they were transformed into courageous preachers and healers. Indeed, Jesus can turn our weaknesses into strengths for His own sake!
2. Travel light because possessions have the tendency to possess us.
Jesus instructs His 12 apostles to take nothing for the journey. It means they have to rely on divine providence. If Jesus clothed them with power and authority, He will surely make sure their daily materials needs are provided as well. He will be the one to touch the hearts of people to be generous to those whom He sent. Thus there is no need for them to bring large and heavy suitcases.
There is a danger when missionaries focus more on their luggage than on their mission. Going out for a mission is basically going out of our comfort zone. Heavy baggage is necessarily burdensome. Hence, it is important to travel light.
Take nothing for your journey! This is a definite call for simple living.
3. Two pillars of the mission:
A) Proclaim the good news of the kingdom
Jesus is the Son of God, our savior. He is the Good News and the proclamation of it is heart of our mission.
By living as true Christians, our life becomes a witness to the truth of Jesus’ salvific mission.
B) Healing the physically and spiritually sick people
As His followers, Jesus can make use of us to extend His healing touch to others. By our prayers and charitable activities, we can actually heal people who are sick and emotionally drained.
In Matthew 28: 18-20, Jesus said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
All of us are called to become missionaries. We may not be sent to faraway lands but we can be missionaries in our family, friends and workplaces. We don’t have authority of our own but the authority from Jesus. We need not be afraid nor ashamed because He is with us always to the very end of age.