The Mandate for all Christians

Luke 9: 1-6
Ezr 9:5-9 / Tb 13

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
(Luke 9:6)

Proclaim the Gospel everywhere;
This is Christ’s mandate in our lives.
For gold or tunic have no care,
Just depend on what God provides.

Jesus called the Twelve together, and gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. As for those who do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” (Lk. 9:1-5)

A divine mandate had been given to the apostles, with both the authority and the power necessary to carry out their mission. And that mandate lives on to the present time in the hearts of all Christians who profess to follow Jesus.

Reflection

It may seem strange that Jesus gave specific instructions to His disciples not to bring any kind of provisions in their journey to different villages to heal and to proclaim the Gospel. But He did this for three reasons: 1) He wanted His apostles to subordinate their temporal needs to their need to obey and to trust in His word; 2) He wanted them to be totally focused on their mission, sacrificing everything, doing without (as He did in the desert); and 3) He wanted the people who would receive His missionaries to practice charity and tithing (“for the worker deserves his keep” -Lk.10:7). Those who did not do so would be treated like dust shaken off their feet.

As our love for God’s Word reaches full maturity in our brotherhood, the Holy Spirit will lead us to pursue the same mission that the apostles were called upon to undertake. God’s Word tells us that lacking the resources for our needs is no excuse to refuse God’s call. It teaches us to put our total trust in His Divine Providence, and even in the positive outcome of our mission. All that is needed is our “yes”, and God will provide the rest. As a text message aptly puts it: “It is when we have nothing that we find God is everything.”

I believe that when we signed on as full-fledged members of our brotherhood, the Great Commission became our primary goal in life. Each of us shares this vision to save our fallen world by sharing the Good News of the Gospel. We have Christ’s promise that He will be with us as we carry out this mission. For sure the task would be daunting if we rely merely on our own abilities or resources, but with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power, no mission is impossible.

In our mission to spread the Gospel, we only have to trust in Your promise, Lord, that all our needs will be met, and we believe it will be done for us. Amen.

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