Are You Mission Equipped?

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
(Luke 9:1-6)

Scripture Study

9:1 gave them power: Jesus equips the apostles with his own spiritual authority to expel demons (4:35, 41), cure the sick (4:39; 5:13; 7:22; 8:47), and proclaim God’s kingdom (4:43; 8:1).

9:3 Take nothing: Trusting in God, the apostles must rely on local hospitality for necessities during their mission (12:22–24). This prepares them for leadership in the Church, where they will preach the gospel through a life of spiritual poverty (10:7).

9:5 shake the dust: A symbolic act of judgment and curse (10:10–12; Acts 13:51). Those who reject God’s kingdom disqualify themselves from its blessings. Palestinian Jews shook dust from their sandals when leaving Gentile territory and reentering the Holy Land. It was a derogatory statement against the uncleanness of Gentiles as pagans. Jesus commands a similar gesture to signify judgment on those who reject the gospel.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus sends the Twelve on their mission to announce the nearness of the Kingdom. I want to say a few things about embracing our mission and being equipped for it.

What do you need for your mission? You need a keen sense of God as the absolute center of your life. In a word, you require the spiritual gifts of piety and fear of the Lord. I realize that these terms can sound fussy and puritanical, but they are actually naming something strong and essential.

First, you need fear of the Lord, which does not mean that you are afraid of God. It means that nothing to you is more important than God, that everything in your life centers around and is subordinate to your love for God. Second, your equipping needs to include piety. Piety means you honor God above everything else, that you worship him alone. These spiritual gifts enable you to find true balance; they allow you to discover what your life is about.

Equipped with these gifts, you are ready for mission. Having received the fire of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to set the world on fire.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.