This weekend we celebrate the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the Gospel passage, Jesus sends out the Twelve, two by two, and gives them specific instructions about how they are to proceed on their journey. Their baggage is light and their possessions are meager. If their message is not accepted in a house, they are to leave it. Jesus encourages them to do what they are able to do, yet he lets them know that not everyone will accept them or the message they bring. So, they go forth preaching, driving out demons, anointing and curing the sick. And we know, that in spite of the challenges they faced, they were effective in spreading Christ’s message. Jesus invites not only the Twelve, but all of us as well, to carry on his work in the world. By virtue of our baptism, we have been called to discipleship with all the responsibilities that go along with it. We are called to teach, preach, and evangelize, beginning with our own families and our own children. All of us are called to serve the Church in any number of ways: as priests, deacons, religious (both active and contemplative), as married couples, as committed single Catholic Christians, as lay ministers, catechists, liturgical ministers, and ministers to the sick and homebound. Some are called to leadership positions on parish councils and commissions, as members on those councils and commissions, as members who serve the parish food pantry, as members who are part of the funeral luncheon teams, as members of the Rosary Altar Society, as members of the Knights of Columbus (and the Ladies Auxiliary), and as members of the League of Catholic Women. The list could go on, but the bottom line is that we are all called to discipleship and our common denominator is we work together as one to serve the Church as Christ. Our ministry is to reflect Christ to others through our words and actions at all times: to bring Christ to others. Along with bringing Christ to others, we must see Christ in others. Not unlike the Twelve, our material resources may seem insufficient and the message we have to share may not always be readily accepted. However, we have been given all we need. In today’s Gospel, Jesus helps us understand that we do not need an abundance of material possessions to carry on his work. The less we have, the easier it is to rely on God and to make room for him to work through us. As Christ continues to call us to share in his mission and ministry, let us pray for one another that we may be faithful to his call. Let us also pray for those still discerning their vocation, especially those God may be calling to the priesthood, and let us encourage them on their journey!
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ