Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Ezra 9:5-9 + Luke 9:1-6
September 22, 2021
He sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
The word “apostle” literally means “one who is sent”. But the reason for being sent can vary, and this reason therefore qualifies the type of apostolic ministry. For example, today’s Gospel passage comes from the ninth chapter of Luke (which is 24 chapters long). Here, the apostles are not being sent to proclaim the Resurrection, because Jesus has not died yet! At the end of the Gospel the Apostles will be sent to proclaim the Gospel and thereby build Jesus’ Church.
In today’s Gospel passage, however, the Twelve are being sent for a simpler mission. Jesus “sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” This two-fold mission is interesting. How does it relate to the mission that the Apostles will begin to carry out on Pentecost? Is proclaiming “the Kingdom of God” the same thing as proclaiming the Gospel? Why does Jesus here give the Apostles power to heal the sick, but not to raise the dead?
Although a book could be written trying to answer these questions, reflect today on the way in which you yourself have been sent by God in the past, and may be sent for a new mission today or very soon. At any point on one’s earthly journey, the Lord can surprise you with a new request. Like the Hebrews at the first Passover, we must be ready to move as the Lord asks.