We are in the world to change the world and not to destroy it. To be an apostle of Jesus is to be a living witness of the gospel. This is when we do not only preach the gospel but live it out.
When Jesus sends His apostles out today, He did not send them out to kidnap, kill, or destroy. He sends them out to preach the good news of the kingdom, to heal and save the lost. An Apostle is sent.
Before Jesus sends them out, Jesus gives them the power over demons and evil spirits so that nothing can withstand them both spiritually and physically.
Our baptism makes us born again. We become immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Through it, the church recreates us again and then makes us living witnesses of the gospel of Christ.
Therefore, our lives on earth are to save and not to kill, to proclaim the gospel, and not to fight against it.
The Ways To proclaim the Gospel Effectively
In the gospel today, Jesus calls the Twelve together and gives them the power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and He sends them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
To do this, Jesus gives them instructions on what to do to be effective in the apostolate.
Therefore, to be effective in our different apostolates, here are the keys:
1. Jesus is the one who calls the twelve and sends them to proclaim the gospel. None of them sends Himself. Their work is to proclaim the gospel everywhere.
When Jesus called the “Twelve”, He gives them both “power” (dunamis) and the “authority” (exousia) to perform the missionary work effectively.
Therefore, the power and authority to be a minister come from Jesus. So, we do not assume that we were sleeping or dreaming and God appeared and told us to stand up and go.
We do not assume power and authority. We are mere instruments God is using. Every power and authority to work must come from God.
Secondly, in the activities of the mission, or the ministerial apostolate, you must be sent by someone whose authority has an apostolic lineage.
Jesus sends the apostles and commissions them to continue the work of evangelization. Even Paul did not send Himself. This is where the church plays a major role.
2. This also shows that we do not assume that the power we have as Christians is our own. Therefore, to proclaim the gospel effectively, we have to depend on the Master of the Vineyard.
We need to understand that the vineyard is not ours. We are just mere instruments; the people God sends to touch souls.
Today, people claim to possess supernatural powers on their own. Let us not make ourselves as if we are the ones who can make things happen. We are the servants of the One who make things happen.
St Padre Pio says “The Eucharist is more to me than anything in the world, I only depend on Him and without Him, I am nothing”.
Let us as Christians depend on the power of the one who sends us. Do not assume that the power is from you. God is simply using you. Then, to proclaim the gospel effectively, let us make ourselves available for God’s work.
3. When Jesus sends the apostles today, the gospel states categorically that He sends them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal; a proclamation that Jesus has already started.
It is a gospel of repentance, a gospel to give God the chance to reign in our hearts, to heal the sick, the broken-hearted, the lost, etc.
Therefore, to proclaim the gospel effectively, whatever we do, has to revolve around these. It is not a mission to destroy souls but to save them.
Our mission on earth is not to cause crisis but to bring peace. It is not a mission to feed on the poor but to encourage them.
The mission is not to let us know how powerful we are but to save souls from damnation. This is a pointer that we should not also be an instrument of damnation to anyone. To proclaim the gospel effectively, our focus should be on the salvation of souls.
5. Finally, Jesus tells them to ‘Take nothing for the journey, and whatever house they enter, they have to stay there, and also leave from there. One may ask “how can this be possible?
How can one just go on such a mission without having some provisions, what if something happens to him? But a critical analysis of this gospel will, first of all, tell us that God wants us to work for him as we are.
We do not need to pressure ourselves so much to be noticed. What God needs from us is our availability and willingness to do the work.
Secondly, Jesus who sends them knows that despite that they have nothing, they will never lack. So, they have to focus on the mission.
This campaign was also meant to teach the disciples a lesson to trust in God’s provision. What they have to do is to go.
So, let us try the much you can, God will do the rest.
Therefore, to proclaim the gospel effectively, we have to trust God for daily provision. He provides the material and spiritual support, the inspiration, the grace and the strength to do the work effectively.
Thirdly, when Jesus tells them to take nothing for the journey, it means they have to concentrate on the task at hand. They should not worry about what they will have or possess.
Jesus is invariably telling them that the ministry is not a field for seeking material possession.
We do not enter into God’s mission seeking what to gain. The quest should be on how many souls we need to conquer for Jesus.
Jesus says to them “whatever house you enter, stay there and depart from there. Therefore, they have to depend on God and not on the property. They have to depend on God’s grace and not comfortability, and prestige.
Therefore, to proclaim the gospel effectively, we do not work for God to have power and riches but to focus solely on God and the salvation of souls.
The apostles trusted in this instruction and later testified in Luke 22:35, that they did not lack anything. Let us also trust in Jesus, we shall be successful in our apostolates and mission.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to trust Him. May He provide for you in the midst of lack. Amen