After giving them authority and power, Jesus sent his apostles for missionary activities with specific instructions to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick. With no material goods, the apostles had nothing to offer except spiritual gifts. As a result, they were saved from the trouble of attracting people for the wrong reasons. They needed other people’s kindness and hospitality to survive, which is a sign of weakness in our world’s standard where wealth and prestige are sought after by many. But it is this weakness that stopped them from getting proud and not relying on what they possess. This weakness led them to grow in their trust in God’s providence and experience it. To trust in God and not in worldly possessions is essential for the success of their mission. To realize that the authority and power that Jesus gave them to exercise and speak in his name are connected with humility, love, and self-sacrifice for the service of others.
Although the apostles lacked material goods, Jesus made sure that they were in good company by sending them in pairs to have rewarding experiences supporting each other. After all, two is better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). And we know that Jesus was always with them as he promised that he will be with those two or three who are gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20).
Jesus also made the apostles aware that in their mission, they would experience both acceptance and rejection. He prepared them by teaching them how to deal with rejections. He experienced rejection, such as, he was rejected in his hometown. But this didn’t stop him from continuing his mission. He moved on to other villages. The apostles were also expected to do the same. They were not to blame themselves. They were not to dwell on this painful experience. They were not to waste their time with anger, discouragement, and self-pity. They were to move on. The experience of rejection should not hinder the fulfillment of the mission that Jesus entrusted them. They cannot control how people receive their message. They only have control over the manner they deliver their message. Following the teachings of Jesus, the apostles were successful in their mission, as narrated at the end of the Gospel passage.
Fr. Danilo Vallejos Mutia Sch. P.
Sunday, July 11, 2021 | 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 6:7-13: He sent them out.
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. 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.
DANILO VALLEJOS MUTIA
Is a Filipino Piarist and a missionary in Japan. He serves as a campus minister of St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo. At present, he is a provincial assistant of Asia Pacific Province.