JULY 11. Ord Time B. Wk 15. Sun. Mk 6. 7-13
Jesus made a tour round the villages, teaching. Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic.’ And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district. And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.
“Jesus made a tour around the villages; - teaching!” This statement highlights one of the primary reasons Christ became a man; - to teach his people, and to teach us; - a truth we need to keep at the forefront of our lives; - that our Faith is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ; - the Son of God!
“He gave them authority over the unclean spirits!” This was the foundation on which the Church is built, and it requires Faith and Trust at every point of the journey that God is with his Church, no matter its circumstances or difficulties.
This is what Faith is; - a trust in the teachings of someone who has lived among us and demonstrated he was God; - and who asked us to “believe” in him and his teachings; - even when we did not understand; - as if we did understand, it would not be Faith!
“Take nothing for the journey; - not even bread!” That is a powerful instruction designed to have Christ’s disciples understand their mission was not dependant on anything of this earth; -and to place their trust in his divine power and guidance, rather than their own abilities.
But it is not a Faith without foundation! The Church is built on Christ himself! This is why the three years of his public life were spent bearing witness to his teachings; - with nearly every page of the Gospels containing miracles demonstrating his divinity!
And these were all to be followed later by his ultimate miracle; - his rising from the dead; - which would be witnessed by the very same people who witnessed his death on a Cross!
“So, they set off to preach repentance; - and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them!” This tells us that these first disciples were also able to perform miracles, as these were needed in order to demonstrate they were conveying teachings that were from God.
So, Christ was doing two things here; - he was establishing truths to be taught to all people throughout history, even after he was no longer with us; - and he was also establishing his Church; - which was to be the mechanism by which future generations would be taught!
And the miracles; - by both himself and his disciples; - were the evidence that demonstrated the teachings being taught were truths from God; - with those same teachings continuing to be taught by the Church today!
And Catholics today are left with the beauty of the Faith; - where we believe, not only in the teachings of Christ, as recorded in the Gospels; - but also in the Church and its Sacraments; -the means by which our Faith is both sustained and grows!
Gospel Acclamation cf Ephesians 1:17-18
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our heart
that we might see how great is the hope
to which we are called.