The mission of the twelve
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - July 15, 2018 - 12:00am

It is now the fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time and today’s gospel reading is about the mission of the 12 apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our gospel reading is very short but certainly the mission Jesus gave them was to continue to ring for us today the reason why Jesus came down from heaven as sent by Father God; to help those who need help one way or another. So today’s gospel reading comes from Mark 6: 7-12.

“7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt.10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”

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Since our gospel reading is very short, allow me to reprint the Second Reading for today which comes from Ephesians 1:3-14 entitled Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ.

“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

“7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

“11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

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Today’s Sunday gospel tells us that our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to this world to become an earthly king for the Jews, but to promote the mission God entrusted to him. He entrusted this mission to his apostles and disciples. 2,000 years later the Mission of the Catholic Church has remained steadfast and thanks to this yearly mission entrusted to many lay organizations, the Catholic Church is the one organization doing charity work for the poor.

As we learned very well from the second reading, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.”

Hence we were all born by the order of God and entrusted with a mission that God desires for us. Some may be rich while others are just comfortable in life, but our mission is to help those who need our help, a help that comes only from the love of a fellow human being.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

LORD JESUS CHRIST
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