MARK 6: 7-13
HIS WORDâ€¦ WHEREVER YOU ENTER A HOUSE, STAY THERE UNTIL YOU LEAVE. WHATEVER PLACE DOES NOT WELCOME YOU OR LISTEN TO YOU, LEAVE THERE AND SHAKE THE DUST OFF YOUR FEET IN TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.
my wordsâ€¦ The Gospel talks about Jesus giving â€œtravelling instructionsâ€ to His Apostles: To travel light. The background of this instruction is; in early Palestine during the time of Jesus, a Palestinian native or person has five articles of clothing; namely, a long inner tunic, an outer cloak, a cincture or belt, an oriental headdress, and sandals. Aside from these items for a luggage, travelers carry a bag for food that made their individual load of luggage tremendously heavy (Fr. Gil A. Linsangan, SSP, 365 Days with the Lord 2015, Sunday Reflection, July 12, 2015). So Jesus sent out the Apostles carrying with them the virtues of poverty, simplicity, and generosity as typified in His travelling instructions.
Brothers and Sisters, the same bulk of instruction by Jesus is given to our missionaries and itinerant preachers of today. And the Church institutionalized these instructions of Jesus into the Evangelical Counsels; namely, the vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity. Carrying such vows allows every missionary to travel light and thereby focus only on the WORD of GOD as the main load of the evangelical mission. They are to totally TRUST in the LORD for their material needs. God provides for their needs and they will not be wanting. Godâ€™s divine providence forever goes with them.
Jesus also prepares them for possible rejections and failures. There is no guarantee that they will be received at all times, or that the message they bring will be heeded at all times. If they should encounter these types of people, they should rid themselves of any trace of these obstinate people; thus the instruction, â€œTo shake the dust off from their feet in testimony against themâ€ (Mk 6:11). Such gesture is a symbolic act that Israelites perform when returning from a foreign land. It is a precaution that no unclean substance would profane the Holy Land or Jerusalem, the sacred city (Fr. Linsangan, 2015). Such also are the challenges of missionaries; they may not be accepted at all times but they should remain FAITHFUL to Jesus and His missionary instructions. For it is in being with Jesus always that they can withstand and sustain the mission; it is in being with Him forever that missionaries gain eternal life.
Brothers and Sisters, â€œDiscipleshipâ€ continues in our time. Jesus chose us to continue the work He has begun, to preach the Gospel, to heal people, and to conquer the forces of the evil ones that threaten Godâ€™s reign among us. In Jesus we have been called to perform His missionary tasks despite our brokenness, vulnerability, and human weaknesses. The mission is to proclaim that â€œThe Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent and believe in the Gospelâ€ (Mk 1:15).
GOD BLESS, STRENGTHEN, AND PROTECT HIS MISSIONARIESâ€¦ Â (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)