JULY 11. Ord Time B. Wk 15. Sun. Mk 6. 7-13
Updated: Sep 10
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.
Second reading Ephesians 1:3-14 ·
God chose us in Christ before the world was made
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ,
to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,
determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ
for his own kind purposes,
to make us praise the glory of his grace,
his free gift to us in the Beloved,
in whom, through his blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
Such is the richness of the grace
which he has showered on us
in all wisdom and insight.
He has let us know the mystery of his purpose,
the hidden plan he so kindly made in Christ from the beginning
to act upon when the times had run their course to the end:
that he would bring everything together under Christ, as head,
everything in the heavens and everything on earth.
And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own,
chosen from the beginning,
under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will;
chosen to be,
for his greater glory,
the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.
Now you too, in him,
have heard the message of the truth and the good news of your salvation,
and have believed it;
and you too have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise,
the pledge of our inheritance
which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own, to make his glory praised.