The drive back to Manila was partly new, quick, and scenic, as Fr. Armand shared a route that is not-so-known but beautiful, as it gave us an approximate 270-degree view of Manila, Laguna, Quezon, parts of Batangas and Cavite. We passed villages that seem to be rising with new resorts, restaurants, and stores that seem to be preparing for an economic boom that is soon to happen. While in a breath we were already in the lowlands, it didn’t stop me though from reflecting on the huge mission that lies ahead of us in the Barista Academy. It was good that over breakfast Father gave his thoughts on the organization, as it also provided everyone an understanding of the work that needs to be done, considering other responsibilities we also have.
In today’s Gospel, we read Jesus sending out the Twelve,
“…and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick— no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.” (Mk. 6: 7-13)
There are three main points here:
1. Jesus sent them out on His authority
2. He sent them two by two
3. He instructed them to take minimum provisions for the journey
Being given the authority to speak for the Lord is one privilege for those who participate in Jesus’ saving mission. When we engage in spreading the Gospel, we are not doing this on our own rather we are co-workers of the Spirit. This is the attitude that should be embraced by those who work in the Church, the parishes and lay missions. We are to be meek and humble, we are not to be scene stealers. We are not doing this to make ourselves famous or popular, no matter how noble these activities seem to be. Yet, when necessary, we speak, we respond to tough assignments, we don’t shun off from responsibility. We participate in the mission with humility and faith, and that we are doing this for the Lord.
Jesus sent them in twos because the Lord knows the importance of having a partner in the mission. He understands fully well that preaching the Gospel isn’t a breeze and so somebody providing support is important. In our ministries, we work with others and at times it can be difficult and trying as they may look at the job differently. And yet, despite our differences we have to learn to work with and accept others despite their limitations. Once in a while we even set back our own plans just so that an agreement is achieved.
Lastly, the Twelve are to go out with only the barest of provisions. No bread or money is needed. They are expected to rely on the goodwill of others, to rely on the fact that God will provide for their needs.
Similarly, we are to take on this mindset despite the difficulty of thinking that someone somewhere will share. Going on a mission nowadays with only the minimum essentials is nearly impossible and unimaginable. We can be so worried ourselves, how much more telling others to rely on God and lighten their luggage. As planners and being in the details, we can’t miss on the plan as to where the next meal should be, or where our accommodations are made. However, the value of relying on God and the meaning of His providence is lost. What the Lord is telling us is simple: just be focused on the assignment.
As we go and grow in mission, may we have the attitude of a servant: faithful to His mission,
understanding and caring for our co-workers in the Church, and trusting in the Lord’s providence.
“May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call.” (cf. Eph. 1: 17-18)