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Send Me, Lord
Wednesday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 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. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
Opening Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for the gift of my faith. Please increase my faith to see your presence and action in my life. Strengthen my hope to stand firm in you when things seem hopeless. Increase my love so that through me your loving grace may touch many around me. Finally, I ask you to bless all those you have entrusted to my prayer.
- He Gave Power and Authority: “He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal.” When God gives us a mission, he gives us the graces to complete that mission. We refer to this principle as the grace of state. In giving the apostles the mission of building his Church, he also gave them the corresponding power and authority to do so. Traditionally, the Church has understood that the Magisterium has threefold power: to govern, to teach, and to sanctify (CCC 888-895). This passage refers to teaching and sanctifying, implied by the healing. Jesus established a visible Church upon the foundation of the apostles, and that foundation still stands today in the person of the pope and the bishops in union with him. Our Lord’s Church continues to wield his power in order to continue his mission to “proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal.”
- He Sent Them: Jesus sent the apostles to “proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal.” The Church was never meant to be self-referential. Its sole purpose is to be a sign of God’s presence in the world. It comes from God and goes out to man. The Church in its very essence is missionary. St. John Paul II wrote that “All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion” (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 27). While it is true that we must at times look inward in our prayer and formation, even that must be oriented towards mission. The Church participates in Christ’s zeal to go from town to town to proclaim the Gospel (Mark 1:38).
- They Set Out: “Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.” It must have been with great joy and excitement that the apostles set out for their first mission. They had often witnessed Our Lord preach, refute the Pharisees, and heal the sick. They had been eagerly awaiting their turn. They wanted to do great things for the Lord and prove that he had done well in choosing them. They were also somewhat nervous. Would they be able to cast out demons as he did? He commanded them to do so; therefore, in their childlike confidence, they tried and it worked! They still had much growing and learning to do as his messengers, but they were willing students and collaborators.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, increase in my heart the zeal for souls. Help me to go beyond my comfort zone to proclaim your Gospel to those around me. Give me the light and grace necessary for the fulfillment of my duties in my state of life. Help me to understand that fulfilling your will with as much love as I can is the best thing I can do for the Church and society.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray for a renewal of the Church’s missionary zeal.
For Further Reflection: Read numbers 874-896 in the Catechism regarding the Hierarchical Constitution of the Church.
Written by Fr. John Bullock, LC.