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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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 Jesus, grant me the courage to follow you. Form my heart as your missionary disciple in the world, that I may help many people come to know, love, and follow you.
- “He Summoned the Twelve”: Jesus could have saved the world by himself and, in a certain sense, he does, through his expiatory death on the cross and conquest of death and sin through his resurrection. But he chooses to make his saving action efficacious in a very incarnational way: through his Church and sacraments. He summons together those called to be shepherds and they, in turn, go to those who will receive them. As members of Christ’s mystical body we all play an important role; we are all summoned, in different and unique ways. But the essence of his summoning is to send us out to bring the good news of salvation to all who will receive it.
- Take Nothing for the Journey: How easily we make our plans and assure ourselves we have all the bases covered to carry out our goals. Jesus seems to tell the Twelve that they are not to waste time collecting all that they think they will need for the mission entrusted to them. He had prepared them as they walked with him. He would be with them by sending his Spirit. The task was simpler than it seemed. They were to dedicate themselves to his mission and leave the rest to God’s providence.
- The Deepest Healing: When we read that the disciples preached repentance, drove out demons, and even cured people, it seems that this took place light years ago. It may feel very far from what we feel called to do. But is it really so far from our own call as disciples in the twenty-first century? Repentance is absolutely necessary for conversion. How can we accompany another person to help him or her discover what they need to set aside to allow God to take front and center? While few are called to be exorcists and drive out demons, we live surrounded by subtle temptations. How can we foster an environment that promotes all that is good, true, and beautiful instead? Many are ill, spiritually or physically. How can our tender compassion be a balm for their soul?
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, in what way do you summon me personally to be your disciple in this world? In my family? Among my friends? Grant me the grace to not get distracted by fear that I am not capable or ready to be your missionary. Grant me courage, Lord.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect on the distractions that may prevent me from forming the heart of a disciple in the world.
For Further Reflection: How to Be a Good Disciple of Christ, Father Mike Schmitz.
Written by Jennifer Ristine.