16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year: B)

Sun 22nd

Old Testament: Jer. 23:1-6
Psalms: Ps. 22
Epistle: Eph. 2:13-18
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34

Sunday Mass times

Sunday 8:00am 10:00am 6:00pm

Today's Gospel

In this week’s Gospel Mark tells us that Jesus sent out the Twelve.  These twelve were selected from among Jesus’ disciples and named by Mark in chapter 3.  Mark notes that these twelve are also called “apostles.”  The word apostle means “one who is sent.”  The number twelve is also a symbolic number, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  By naming twelve apostles, Jesus shows his mission to be in continuity with the mission of God’s people, Israel.

Jesus’ instructions to the apostles are very specific.  He repeats the mission that they are sent to preach and to share his authority to heal and to drive out demons.  Jesus sends them in pairs, establishing his mission as a communal endeavour.  Jesus also instructs them to travel lightly, without the customary food, money, and extra set of clothes.  These instructions mean that the Twelve will be dependent on the hospitality of others, just as Jesus depended on others to provide for his needs.

Jesus continues to send us into the world as his disciples.  But like the first disciples, we are not sent alone.  Jesus has given us the community of the Church, which strengthens our life of discipleship.  The Christian message can only authentically be proclaimed in and through the community of faith that is the Church.  In our work with others, we build this community of faith and can invite others to share in it.


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