13 Jul 15th Sunday of the Year – B
15th Sunday of the Year – B
Dear friends in Christ,
Today’s first reading tells us about the state of Israel after the death of Solomon. By human rivalry the kingdom was divided north and south. Jeroboam, the
appointed king of the north built a temple in Bethel in competition with the true Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. In that situation God made Amos, a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores, to be a prophet and sent him to the people in Bethel to warn them that their sinful lives would lead to
disaster if they didn’t change their ways. However, the high priest of the temple of Bethel told Amos: “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel.”
This passage prepares us for today’s gospel where Jesus sent his apostles out on a mission while warning them that it could be a difficult assignment.
In Mark the disciples were prepared by Jesus in stages. The words in today’s gospel: “summoned, send and gave authority,” are words that stand out for each and every one of us as disciples of Jesus. First the disciples were called, then they received authority to preach and expel demons, and finally they were empowered with authority to represent Jesus both in word and in power. The emphasis in all of this is that they were summoned by Jesus and only in this summoning that they were empowered to say and do what Jesus said and did.
Here we are today, gathered together for the Eucharist. Each of us are summoned by Jesus and given the power to make his mission our mission as well. Jesus gives himself to us so that his mission becomes ours. He gives us his Spirit in Baptism. He gives himself to us in the Scripture and in the Breaking of the Bread so that we can become more and more like him, speaking up for God in ways both small and great. With all that Jesus gives us, our mission is no longer a mission impossible but rather a mission made possible with him and in him.
Jesus’ disciples went where he sent them before. Will we have the courage to do the same in the present? “Do not be afraid; just have faith!” Jesus tells us.