Mission Is Not For Self Promotion

Weekly Missionary Reflection
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 11 July 2021

Prov. 7:12-15; Ps. 85:9ab,10,11-12,13-14; Eph. 1:3-14 (Eph. 1:3-10); Mark 6:7-13

Today’s Gospel is about the mission of the Twelve. There are some messages for us. First, mission comes from Jesus Himself. Jesus summons, sends and gives them the authority over the unclean spirit (v. 7). The sent ones are not new comers, but those who have been called from the beginning (1:16-20) and appointed as the apostles (3:14-15). The sent ones are those who have been walking with Jesus, listening to His preaching and witnessing His works and miracles. In other words, the sent ones are the disciples who are “the eyes and ears” of Jesus’ mission. Our mission comes from Jesus, based on the experience of being with him and the participation in His mission.

Second, mission is not an independent-task. The disciples are sent two by two. What Jesus has done on His own is continued by His disciples in group. There are certainly practical reasons: so they can help and support each other. But there is a deeper reason: in order to make their testimony valid and convincing. According to the Torah, a charge shall stand only on the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deu. 19:15). Our proclamation and mission will always be communal, not individual. Mission always means ecclesiastical testimony, not a personal adventure, let alone a self promotion.

Third, mission does not bother with accommodation. Look at how Jesus tells about this matter in detail (v. 8-11). Jesus seems to have anticipated the tendency of His disciples, then and now, who often bother with accommodation. The success of a mission is determined by faith, not by asset or equipment, not even by luxury facilities (cf v. 8-9: ‘no food, no money, no sack, two clothes’). Suffice yourself only with the basic facilities which are really needed for doing the task (‘sandals’) and for security (‘stick’). The disciples have to believe totally that God will provide all their needs through the people and church who receive them. They have to satisfy themselves with what Jesus provides through the people who accept their proclamation, without searching and demanding for more.

Fourth, mission for proclaiming repentance. The disciples’ proclamation challenges humans to change their life style and way of thinking (repentance) in order to be ready to receive the reigning God. The sign of the coming of God’s Kingdom begins to be presented in driving out the demons and anointing the sicks (v. 12-13). Relieving humans’ sufferings and liberating them from the evil are the essential parts of Church mission in presenting the Kingdom of God. This will happen if the heart and orientation of human’s life is changed by the testimonies of the disciples.

Fifth, mission under the shadow of the cross. Jesus has anticipated that the mission of His disciples will undergo many rejections. It is no coincidence that this passage is placed after the scene of Jesus being rejected (6:1-6) and before the assassination of John the Baptist (6:14-29). The fate of the disciples will not be different from the Teacher and His predecessor. Shall the mission stop? Not at all! Even to those who reject, you and I have to keep on proclaiming as the reminder of God’s judgement in future (cf. ‘shake the dust off your feet’ in v. 11)

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Social Friendship: In the situation of social, politic and economic conflict, we hope to bravely and enthusiastically become a means of dialogue and friendship. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
For teachers: May all teachers be more creative by trying to develop the education materials through social media and technology. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please bestow us the Spirit of Joy, in order for us to feel the joy in educating the young people, like St. Joseph, together with Mother Mary escort the Son’s growth, in the Nazarene family. We pray…

Amen

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