Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1Kngs 2:1-4, 10-12
When the time of David’s death drew near, he gave these instructions to his son Solomon: “I am going the way of all flesh. Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn, and the LORD may fulfill the promise he made on my behalf when he said, ‘If your sons so conduct themselves that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart and with their whole soul, you shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.’” David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. Solomon was seated on the throne of his father David, with his sovereignty firmly established.
Gospel: Mk 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 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. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
GOD WHO ENTRUSTS A MISSION WILL PROVIDE THE FACILITY TOO: King David, a successful warrior and ruler, at his death bed gives his son and successor Solomon, his parting advice. It is not how to be a great warrior or ruler but to be faithful to the Lord by keeping his commandments. Thus he shall be cooperating with the Lord for the fulfillment of his promises. Jesus who “appointed the twelve to be with him and to be sent out” (Mk 3:15) is now sending them out with specific mission. He gives them authority to preach and expel the devils. He wants them to depend totally on God, not on their possession or material preparation, for the exercise of the ministry. Only by being with the Lord and totally depending on him can we carry out his mission.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be with you and to go out to the peripheries and boldly bear witness to you.
NEED OF THE HOUR: Teachers who are reluctant to speak their mind are scared of expressing their views on society, and cannot be true teachers. Jesus, aware of what ails society, wants his discipleship to launch their ministry on that front. He is a teacher who thinks in a novel way, designs means and methods of operation, warns his disciples against wastage, and affirms them with a specific mandate. Visionaries who can foresee an emerging society that is full of life, are creative. Rajendra Singh of Rajasthan, called “The water man of India” is seen as a miracle worker who converted the poor arid dry villages of Alwar district into rich environments with all-year-round water supply. Great men take people along, think with them and think for them. Armed with their determination and commitment for the ideal they go unperturbed by opposition and by hardships. The need for this hour is to have transformative ministers who use the Word of God. It is this powerful Word that cuts finely and reaches into all areas of human civilization, renewing, resurrecting and resuscitating those in the throes of death.
MISSION OF BEING SENT: Jesus sent his apostles out empty handed but spirit-filled. Thus, the mission of the apostles was financially poor but spiritually rich. The gift they received was a gift of power in favour of good and against the evil. Every Christian is a missionary sent out for the mission of Jesus with the security of being filled with these gifts. This missionary mandate is an experience of being filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to bear witness to the Gospel and to the Truth. Every gift we have received is a power to transform, to influence like leaven (Lk 13:21) and to cut the evil into pieces like a sword (Eph 6:17). Receiving the gift from Jesus is an experience of being filled by him. The aim of being with him is to listen to him to learn, and be transformed into a true disciple. It is from here that one is filled with the gift of power and authority to withstand the evils. “If only you knew the gift of God…” (Jn 4:10). How are you formed as a Christian for the mission?