Messengers Sent

John 13: 16-20
Acts 13: 13-25 / Psa 89

Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the One who sent me.
(John 13:20)

Having received Him we are sent
So that others too may believe.
And from their sins they may repent,
That the Spirit they may receive.

(Jesus said), “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.’ From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (John 13:16-20)


The Bible is replete with messengers who were sent for specific purposes. In the Old Testament, most of them were the prophets, like Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, who delivered Yahweh God’s messages to the Kings of Judah and Israel or their people.

Then there were the precursors or forerunners of the Messiah, like Joseph, whose exile to Egypt led to the salvation of the Israelite nation from famine; Moses, who shepherded the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land; Judas, son of Mattathias, who redeemed the Jews from the yoke of King Antiochus; Samson, who wrought havoc against the Philistines; and Jonah, the closest harbinger of the Messiah, who was ‘entombed’ in the belly of a giant fish for three days, and whose message of repentance saved the city of Nineveh.

In the New Testament, the most prominent heralds of the Lord were the Archangel Gabriel, who was sent to announce the Blessed Mary’s ‘Appointment’; and St. John the Baptist, ‘a voice crying out in the desert’ who prepared the way of the Lord. There were other messengers, like the Magi, who came from the East bearing gifts, and the heavenly host of angels who brought the glad tidings to the shepherds. Of course we know that all the apostles were sent out to spread the message of salvation to all the nations, and prominent among them was St. Paul, who was the only apostle who did not see Jesus in the flesh. Together with Barnabas, his mission in the conversion of the Gentiles is noteworthy as we read in today’s first reading.

All the characters and events in the Bible, in fact, were meant to deliver important “letters” from the Almighty Father, and His greatest message was His only Son Jesus Christ, ‘the Word made flesh, Who dwelt among us.’ That is why the Scriptures are also known as the Good News. My friend and brother in Christ, Ernie J. calls it “The Operating Manual of Life” which every user should familiarize himself with if he wants to have a trouble-free, minimal maintenance living. It does make sense.

How grateful we are, Father, that we too have been conscripted to be messengers of Your Good News of salvation. This privilege gives us first-hand information from the Holy Spirit at the earliest hour each day. Amen.

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