Fr. Felix’s Thoughts on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s gospel, the twelve disciples are sent by Jesus to preach repentance and minister to the sick and others needing help. These twelve men were ready for this moment…Jesus has been teaching and preparing them carefully.
They start out on their first preaching and healing tour, depending only on God for their inspiration and on the charity of others for their needs. This has always been understood as Providence. Jesus warns them about the rejection they will experience with the ones they want to serve. This is Discipleship!
We hear the word Discipleship quite often in our Catholic circles. The word disciple implies follower. Being a follower today is not really something people aspire to be. We aspire to be the boss, the leader, the top executive, the head honcho, the alpha person. For Christians, there is only one alpha …Jesus. No disciple of Jesus ever takes the place of the master. The disciples are always just that, disciples, followers.
The disciples do not achieve the rank of the master, in the Gospel, but Jesus gives the disciples the authority to preach and heal just as He did. He sends them on missions in six groups of two. Actually the word mission means to be sent. The model in today’s Gospel has become today’s Christian evangelization.
As we journey through this life, we have two choices. We can bring the hope and healing of heaven to others, or we can be a source of the anger and despair that is sheer hell. We are all called by God to the vocation of prophet (one who proclaims) and disciple (one who follows). It is a call to proclaim, in our places of work, study, and play, the good news of Christ, to follow him in his vision of justice, peace, and reconciliation.