Updated: Jul 8, 2021
(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel aloud to the child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
We are used to hearing about all the marvellous things that Jesus says and does. We know that Jesus has authority--the power to act. We know from whom he gets this authority, because when Jesus speaks and acts, God's will is done. In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus does something interesting with his authority.
He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
What is Jesus doing?
We know that Jesus has twelve very close friends. He calls them, and they come. They follow him so we call them disciples. Disciples are people who follow someone.
Jesus calls the twelve, but then he sends them out. We call them apostles, because apostles are people who are sent out to do something.
Disciples and Apostles. The twelve are called to be sent.
What are they sent out to do?
We hear that Jesus gives them authority over the unclean spirits. We know that Jesus has the power to act. Over and over we hear him command, and people are made clean, they are made whole, they are restored to the people God created them to be. But now, Jesus is giving this authority to the twelve.
What does this tell us about Jesus? Does he want to keep his power all to himself? Does he want to be the best and the strongest? That doesn't seem to be important to him at all.
So why does Jesus share his power to act? Why does he share his authority? Why does he call the twelve to send them out?
We see what happens when the Disciple-Apostles go out:
So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.
This is what Jesus himself proclaims when he first begins to preach:
Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
The Disciple-Apostles proclaim that all should repent. All should turn around and believe the Good News. The Disciple-Apostles know that Jesus shares his authority with them because the Kingdom of God has come near for all.
They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Casting out demons, curing the sick, they restore people to who they are created to be. In the Kingdom of God, everyone is whole. Everyone is exactly who God created them to be.
Only we notice that the Disciple-Apostles do not cast out all the demons, and they do not cure all the sick. Many, but not all. There is still work to be done. Who will do this work? Who will build the Kingdom of God? We need more Disciple-Apostles.
We need people who are called. Well, we are called. At our Baptism, we are each called by name. Are we also Disciples?
We need people who are sent. Well, we are sent. At the end of each Mass, the priest says, "Go now in the peace of Christ, to love and serve the Lord." Are we also Apostles?
Disciples and Apostles. Called to be sent.
We wonder now, what will we be sent to do?