Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If Christ does not reign over the mundane events in our lives, He does not reign at all.

Many Christians have what we might call a "cultural holiness". They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy. But God has not called us to be like those around us. He has called us to be like himself. Holiness is nothing less than conformity to the character of God. --Jerry Bridges: (Christian author)

Gospel Text: (Lk 9:1-6)
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.

The word “apostle” literally means “one who is sent”. But the reason for being sent can vary, and this reason therefore qualifies the type of apostolic ministry. For example, today’s Gospel passage comes from the ninth chapter of Luke (which is 24 chapters long). Here, the apostles are not being sent to proclaim the Resurrection, because Jesus has not died yet! At the end of the Gospel the Apostles will be sent to proclaim the Gospel and thereby build Jesus’ Church.

In today’s Gospel passage, however, the Twelve are being sent for a simpler mission. Jesus “sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” This two-fold mission is interesting. How does it relate to the mission that the Apostles will begin to carry out on Pentecost? Is proclaiming “the Kingdom of God” the same thing as proclaiming the Gospel? Why does Jesus here give the Apostles power to heal the sick, but not to raise the dead?

Although a book could be written trying to answer these questions, reflect today on the way in which you yourself have been sent by God in the past, and may be sent for a new mission today or very soon. At any point on one’s earthly journey, the Lord can surprise you with a new request. Like the Hebrews at the first Passover, we must be ready to move as the Lord asks.

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