In today’s Gospel Our Lord commissions and empowers the Twelve to continue the mission that he has begun in the way he has taught them. They receive not only authority from Jesus, but also power: to heal and to cast out unclean spirits. They receive a message to communicate–Jesus’ message–and a place to start: the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We know that in the end they received a commission to go to the whole world and carry out what we call today the apostolic mission, but in today’s Gospel we see them beginning to take an active part in that mission. The Church is considered Apostolic because she can never deny, nor should she, to have been founded on the generosity and work of these men in communion with Jesus, with the sad exception of Judas. We can’t think of Rome or the Holy Father without thinking of Peter and Paul who watered that Church with the blood of their martyrdom, of India without thinking of St. Thomas, of Spain without thinking of St. James, or the very Gospel we’re considering today, written by St. Matthew. How many of us bear the name of these generous men.
The apostolic mission continues and will continue until the end of time. The Church is also Apostolic because we have to be apostles. We have a moral and religious authority in a world that has lost its moral and religious compass. We are empowered by the sacraments to be a source of healing for so many people, and to drive away the bad influences of our society from ourselves and from others; these same sacraments help us to persevere in a challenging world. We are bearers of the Gospel message, and our place to start is our families, our workplaces, and our countries. The work is abundant and everyone is called to live this apostolic spirit within the duties and obligations of their state of life: clergy, consecrated persons, and laity.
Let’s ask Our Lord today to adopt an apostolic outlook on our life and circumstances, and to help us be apostles in his service, inspired by his example and that of the Apostles who persevered in the faith.
Readings: Genesis 41:55–57, 42:5–7a, 17–24a; Psalm 33:2–3, 10–11, 18–19; Matthew 10:1–7.