Mission Should Not Lose Its Root And Direction

Weekly Missionary Reflection
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 18 July 2021

Jer. 23:1-6; Ps. 23:1-3a,3b-4,5,6; Eph. 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34

Gospel reading of this week continues last week’s reading. After Jesus sent out His followers to proclaim the gospel of repentance, cast out demons and cure the sick (Mark 6:7-13), now the Twelve are back from the mission. Mark calls them as the twelve “apostles”. The word of “apostle” (Greek: apostolos) is related to the verb of “to send out”. They are called “apostles” because they are sent out by Jesus to continue and spread Jesus’ work and mission: to preach, cure the sick and cast out demons. It means in this first stage, the title of “apostle” refers to the task and function, not a job. That is the first aspect of our mission: we are the people sent by Jesus to participate in His mission: to proclaim the Gospel, cure any illness and disease of the society, and fight to cast out any evil power in this world.

After they are sent and involved in the world, the apostles return to Jesus. For what? In verse 30 it is said to “gather with Jesus” and “inform Him all what they have done and taught”. That is the second aspect of Christian mission. Mission is not only originated and rooted from Jesus (v. 7), but also ends at Jesus. Mission is not only going out, but also returning back. Mission can not stop at one’s self or stop when many people are repented and cured. Mission has to continuously return to its root which is Jesus Himself. Our mission has to be evaluated continuously and honesty before the Lord who sends us. Thus, mission will not lose its root and direction in Jesus Himself. Without it, our mission will decline into an event of self promotion or to show we are busy due to the fear of being lonely.

Story about the mission of the apostles is interspersed with the story of the murder of John the Baptist (6:14-29). This typical storytelling of Mark shows the third aspect of Christian mission: rejection, suffering and cross are essential parts of the mission. The apostles are sent under the shadow of martyrdom of John the Baptist. They and we have been warned that the task of mission is not free from cross. There will always be any powers that are not willing to be changed and will attempt to hinder the proclamation of the Good News. Therefore, as the missionary of Gospel, we have to always be prepared to face the world power that will hinder, resist and even kill our task and job, if not our body.

Fourth, Christian mission should follow the pattern of Jesus, the Shepherd (v. 34). His heart is always moved by compassion when He sees His people abandoned by their leaders. We are also invited to always open ourselves in order to be moved by God’s compassion to teach others. Of course this is not merely a verbal propaganda about the Good News, but it really gives guidance, direction and hope. By this way, our mission is able to bring the truth into the world full of falsehood, to bring the truth into the society who is fond of hoax and to bring hope to those who are abandoned and lose direction.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)


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…


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