There are moments in our lives when our boss entrusts us with a new task which has not been part of our ordinary job duties. Because this task is new to us, it may seem overwhelming at first and we just want to throw our hands up in the air and tell our boss it cannot be done. And there may be times when we demand recognition for taking on the task and expect praise for putting effort into actually accomplishing what was asked of us; and when we do not receive recognition and praise, it leaves us feeling discouraged. But it is important to press on and do our jobs well regardless because that is our responsibility. It might sound a little strange, but being and living as a fully active Christian is much like our work environment. We can see this being the case in early Christianity through the Readings for today.
We see in the Gospel, that Jesus is commissioning his disciples to go out and preach the Good News. Jesus’ instructions indicate that the task will not be easy, and that not everyone will be receptive of the message; yet still put forth the effort at all cost, giving adequate attention to each household. Imaging the disciples thinking about what has just been entrusted to them; some might have been excited, while others might have felt a little hesitant. Yet they all did it!
In Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy, we read about Paul’s lamenting of feeling abandoned by his peers, other than Luke, and pleading to Timothy to bring other disciples for the mission to the Gentiles. Paul also asks Timothy to bring a cloak and papyrus rolls – important items to continue to carry out the mission entrusted to the disciples. As Paul continues to write to Timothy, he states that he has not thrown his hands up in the air, and knows he has been able to press on to fulfill the mission because of the guidance of the Lord.
So… How does this apply to us today??? Scripture is not pertinent to only a specific period in time, but rather is very relevant for ALL generations. Jesus’ Commissioning was not only for his direct disciples, but is also directed toward us. We may not be walking on foot from town to town and entering houses like the early Christian disciples did, but we are to reach out and preach the Good News. But, how do we do this if we do not enter a household??? This task is as simple as the wonderful saying by Saint Francis of Assisi – “Preach the Gospel always, when necessary use words.” It is as simple as loving our neighbor speak or paying it forward at a restaurant, but we must never be shy to speak of Jesus when it deems necessary. There are instances in which we want to mind our “P’s and Q’s” because we might think it is not our place to remind someone of WWJD, BUT sometimes we have to verbally preach! It might fall upon deaf ears, yet it just might also hit home with some people, so we need to keep pressing on and do our job as our boss has asked of us.
Father, may we understand that we have been asked of a great task as followers of Jesus, regardless of how difficult the task is. He has commissioned us, just as he commissioned his disciples, to preach the Good News. Let us answer this call. This we ask through Christ, Our Lord. Amen!