Preaching the Gospel

Mark 6: 7-13
1 Kgs 2: 1-4,10-12 / 1Chr 29

They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
(Mark 6:13)

In our desire to spread God’s Word,
Let our deeds say what we want to teach;
It is easier to be heard
When we practice what we preach.

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (Mark 6: 7-13)

Reflection

The message in today’s Gospel passage of Mark is about evangelization, proclaiming the kingdom of God to others. It is interesting to note that this message is still very much relevant in our present day and age, and likely even more urgent, when we consider the degradation of values prevailing in our society today, due to corruption in high places, and the unbridled freedom and materialism especially among our youth. The main difference between then (when the apostles were first sent out) and now is that we do not have the kind of intimate relationship as the apostles did with the One sending them forth. They were personally given the authority to speak on Christ’s behalf and the power to heal and drive out evil spirits wherever they went. But the circumstances and/or situation then and now are also vastly different. The apostles were sent to preach to a strange and hostile environment, where one could be stoned to death for preaching a dogma different from the Judaic beliefs of the Jews. The only “stones” that we may have to face today are the disinterested or cynical responses of friends, relatives or associates to whom we wish to share the Word of God. Unlike the early heralds of the Lord, we do not have to go to strange places in order to profess our faith. We can do it in our workplaces, or organizations where we belong, or even among our friends and relatives. Best of all, we can give our testimony in the assembly of our own Christian community.

God gives us the authority and power to spread the Good News in His behalf. All that He requires from us is our willingness and our faith in Him that the mission will succeed. Jesus gave His disciples the power to heal, exorcise evil spirits and to proclaim the Word of God, “travelling light” without any provisions. God wants us to be dependent on Him and not rely on our own abilities or material possessions. He will provide us with the resources and talents we need to accomplish His will. Are we prepared and willing to be at His service, to reach out to others and give witness to the Gospel and to Christ’s salvation? This is God’s message for us in today’s Gospel. If we have not yet done so, let us prepare our life testimony for sharing in our prayer meetings or assemblies, and we will be blessed for it.

Lord, make us channels of Your Word, so that others may also find freedom and truth in Your Gospel. Grant us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may become effective witnesses in the continuing mission of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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