The Mission and Commissioning of the Twelve

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Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant that I may hear your voice as you call me to collaborate in building your kingdom. Give me light and courage to follow you.
Encountering Christ:

  1. The Mystery of the Chosen: Jesus chose the Twelve Apostles and gave them authority. But he did not determine their path. He accompanied and prayed for them. He helped them when help was welcome. Of the Twelve, one was labeled, afterward, as the traitor. Why, then, did Christ choose him? In our attempts to answer this question, we stare into the mystery of human freedom. But we are also faced with the truth of Christ’s ultimate victory through and despite poor, and even immoral, human choices. When we are faced with disappointment over any spiritual leader’s direction or life choices, let us pray with hopeful and merciful hearts for them and remember who is ultimately victorious.
  2. Do Not Go…Go…: Jesus seemed to have a very specific plan for the Apostles’ mission. He told them where to go and not to go. If Jesus strategized in order to bring about the most efficacious plan for establishing his kingdom, should we not also be wise and prudent disciples? As baptized members of Christ’s mystical body, we all have a realm in which we evangelize. We must each discern through prayer where “to go and not to go,” to fulfill our particular vocation as missionary disciples in the world.
  3. Make This Proclamation”: Jesus knew that the people to whom he sent the Apostles would understand the proclamation, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” Those who readied their hearts would be fruitful recipients of the proclamation. In the twenty-first century, we must also find the “proclamation” that instigates a turning to the Lord. The Word of God is alive and active, never out of date. But it requires proclamation through our testimony. Sometimes, those who sit in the pew next to us are the first ones who need to hear and see the Gospel proclaimed. They need our friendly smile and our openness to be another Christ for them. 

Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of my faith. Help me to grow as a missionary disciple, ready to proclaim your word however you ask.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will be attentive to how I can proclaim your word through my conversations or testimony.
For Further Reflection: What is a “Missionary Disciple”? Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Written by Jennifer Ristine.

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