The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
–no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Reflection (Sem. Jasper S. Bautista)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus appointed the disciples for a mission to proclaim the Good News. But there was a difficulty since Jesus told them not to bring anything.
Every start of the school year, the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary holds a “Mission Send-Off.” This is the start of the weekend apostolate where we seminarians go to different areas like slums, hospitals, prisons, parishes; as well give retreats to students and parish workers.
Last year, my apostolate area was a slum community, which at first I took grudgingly because of the challenges it posed. I was with an extended family and our house was really small, with many creeping insects and animals that pestered me during the night. I was complaining because my companions were in better homes and families.
In the next weekends I began to take in the message of God for me. It was to let go of my comforts and reflect on Christ’s love and mercy by being with my apostolate family. We ate together, talked about our families, played with the kids, watched television, and did many other activities. In the end, we bonded like a real family.
Reflecting on the Gospel, I realized that the mission of the disciples is similar to what we are doing in the seminary. We conduct apostolate of presence, clinical pastoral care, parish works and spiritual guidance, which I think the disciples had also done during their mission.
We are privileged to also serve as a living symbol of the Gospel. With God’s grace and mercy, we extend His love to others.