Thursday, February 1, 2018
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. Mark 6:7
The first thing that is worth pointing out in this passage is that Jesus “summoned” the Twelve. This means He brought them to Himself. Sure, we can read this as simply meaning that He, in a sense, called a meeting with them. But we should look deeper. We should see in this summoning the fact that Jesus was not only calling a meeting, but rather, He was drawing them to His very person. In this act of summoning, the Apostles were personally encountering Jesus, receiving His grace and power, and being changed themselves.
From there He sent them out two by two. This is also significant. Jesus knows our human weakness. He knows that by ourselves we will most likely fail, but with the Christian support of another we are greatly strengthened. This is because Jesus’ mission is not only something we do ourselves, it’s something that is communal as well. We are each one piece in His mission. However, to fulfill that mission, we need the love and support of others. We need to go two by two into the battle.
So what about this authority that Jesus gave them? It’s often not appreciated for what it is. Jesus very much does want to give us authority over the evil one and his dominions since they are far more powerful than us. So, if we are to have a chance in the battle, we need Jesus’ authority. This is not only some supernatural power to cast out demons; rather, it’s much more extensive. So what is this authority and how do we exercise it?
First, it’s the power of true Christian charity. Charity, or love, overwhelms the evil one and renders him powerless in our lives. Selflessness, sacrifice, humility, faith, truth, etc., are among the most powerful weapons in our battle. The evil one does not know what to do with these. We do not necessarily have to engage in some sort of dramatic spiritual warfare to do battle. Simply love God and live that love in your daily life and you will, in a sense, be casting out demons left and right! We will have the victory in our Christian living because God will take care of all the rest. It’s His mission and He is the one summoning and sending us. So do not be afraid to follow His lead!
Reflect, today, upon this three step process that Jesus initiates with His Apostles and know that He desires the same with you: 1) He summons you, daily, to Himself; 2) He sends you forth to bring His love to others; 3) He gives you the authority and power you need to fulfill His will. Be open to this process and our Lord will use you abundantly.
Lord, give me the love, courage and strength I need to live out Your divine plan. I hear You summoning me and I choose to respond with generosity. I willingly accept the authority of that grace into my life so that You can accomplish all that You desire. Jesus, I trust in You!