St. Barnabas Catholic Church, 7/15/18, Yr. B, 15th Sun Ord Time (Mark 6: 7-13)

   

OUR GOSPEL READING TODAY,,, TELLS US,,, THAT JESUS HAD SUMMONED HIS TWELVE DISCIPLES,,, TO COME TO HIM. HE WAS ABOUT TO SEND THEM OUT,,, TWO BY TWO,,, ON A JOURNEY,,, A MISSION,,, WITH HIS AUTHORITY OVER THE UNCLEAN SPIRITS.

JESUS HAD TAKEN THE NECESSARY TIME TO TRAIN HIS DISCIPLES,,, FOR THEIR SPIRITUAL MISSION. THEIR CLASSROOM TRAINING WAS NEARLY OVER,,, AND THEY WERE ABOUT TO COMMENCE,,, THE PRACTICAL PART OF THEIR MISSION.

JESUS SAID; THAT OUR FIRST AND GREATEST MISSION IS TO LOVE GOD,,, WITH ALL OUR HEART,,, AND,,, TO LOVE OTHERS,,, LIKE WE LOVE OURSELVES!

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, THE 1ST THING THAT WE MUST DO,,, IS TO PRACTICE THIS COMMAND,,, AND THIS MINISTRY,,, RIGHT HERE IN THIS CHURCH,,, AS WE WORSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP TOGETHER. 

THEN,,, WE MUST EXTEND OUR LOVE AND CHRIST’S LOVE,,, OUTSIDE THIS SANCTUARY,,, WHERE OUR MISSION FIELD IS,,, TO THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE THE LOVE OF CHRIST,,, IN THEIR LIVES.

THE PREPARATION OF THE DISCIPLES BY JESUS,,, SHOULD PROVIDE ENCOURAGEMENT FOR US. JESUS LED HIS DISCIPLES FORWARD,,, “ONE STEP AT A TIME” IN THEIR JOURNEY WITH HIM.

HE WAS TAKING THEM,,, OUT OF THE CLASSROOM AND ONTO THE REAL FIELD OF THE WORLD,,, TO PUT THEIR FAITH INTO ACTUAL PRACTICE.

FROM THIS MISSION,,, WE LEARN SOME PRACTICAL PRINCIPLES,,, AS TO WHAT IT TAKES TODAY,,, TO BECOME MORE ACTIVE DISCIPLES OF JESUS. 

AT SOME POINT BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,,, WE MUST LEAVE OUR COMFORT ZONE,,, SO WE CAN GET SOME PRACTICAL,,, REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE,,, AS WE SHARE WITH OTHERS,,, THE GRACE AND LOVE OF JESUS. 

IF YOU WANT TO DO ANYTHING IN LIFE,,, YOUR TRAINING AND EDUCATION,,, CAN’T BE COMPLETE

UNTIL YOU GET “OUT THERE” AND ACTUALLY USE WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED AND EXPERIENCED.

IN MARK,,, CHAPTER 6,,, JESUS IS TEACHING HIS DISCIPLES: ”HOW TO DO THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY 

HE’S SAYING,,, ALRIGHT:

(*) YOU HAVE HEARD ME TEACH,,,

(*) YOU HAVE SEEN ME DO HEALINGS,,, DRIVE OUT 

DEMONS,,,

(*) YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED MY LOVE FOR PEOPLE,,,

 WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN LOVED BEFORE.

(*) YOU HAVE SEEN ME DO ALL THE THINGS THAT A 

SERVANT OF GOD WOULD DO,,,

NOW,,, IT’S TIME! YOU DO IT!

BY TRAINING HIS DISCIPLES IN THIS WAY,,, JESUS IS ALSO PROVIDING,,, US,,, WITH AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW! 

JESUS IS TELLING US,,, NOW,,, IT’S OUR TURN! BEFORE JESUS SENT THE DISCIPLES OUT ON THEIR JOURNEY,,, HE INSTRUCTED THEM,,, NOT TO TAKE ANYTHING WITH THEM,,, EXCEPT; A WALKING STICK. NO FOOD,,, NO SACK AND NO MONEY! 

NOW,,, CAN YOU IMAGINE,,, US,,, DOING THAT TODAY?

MANY OF US,,, CAN’T EVEN GO AWAY FOR ONE DAY,,, WITHOUT 5 BAGS,,, AND 10 CREDIT CARDS,,, CAN WE?

JESUS TOLD THE DISCIPLES,,, THAT THEY WERE TO; WEAR SANDALS (A PAIR OF SHOES TODAY),,, AND ONE TUNIC (A SET OF CLOTHES TODAY).

CAN YOU IMAGINE,,, PUTTING ON YOUR SHOES,,, YOUR CLOTHES,,, EMPTYING EVERYTHING FROM YOUR POCKETS,,, ESECIALLY YOUR MONEY AND THEN: HEADING OUT,,, ON FOOT,,, INTO THE DESERT,,, WITH NO FOOD OR WATER,,, IN 100+ DEGREE HEAT,,, FROM LAS VEGAS.,,, TOWARDS BARSTOW?

WELL,,, THE DISCIPLES OBEYED THE LORD! BUT JESUS DIDN’T SEND THEM OUT,,, UNPREPARED.

HE GAVE HIS DISCIPLES,,, AND US,,, SPECIAL TOOLS FOR MINISTRY! 

AND,,, JESUS GAVE US ,,, A MODEL FOR OUR MINISTRY! HE WENT FROM VILLAGE TO VILLAGE,,, TEACHING. 

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, JESUS,,, WAS ACTUALLY “OUT THERE”,,, “DOING IT. JESUS LED BY EXAMPLE!

HE CAME DOWN TO EARTH,,, ,,, AND SHOWED US,,, EXACTLY,,, HOW TO SHARE HIS LOVE WITH OTHERS. 

JESUS WAS A “HANDS-ON” PRACTICAL SAVIOR!

A SAVIOR,,, WHO TALKED,,, TOUCHED AND LOVED.

JESUS ALSO ENJOYED COMPANIONSHIP.,,, SO,,, WHEN JESUS CALLED THE 12 TOGETHER,,, AND SENT THEM OUT,,, TWO-BY-TWO,,, HE DID SO,,, BECAUSE OF THE JEWISH CUSTOMS,,, AND,,, FOR COMPANIOBSHIP!

JESUS SENT MESSENGERS,,, IN GROUPS OF TWO! NOT ONLY WAS IT SAFET FOR THEM,,, BUT IF ANYTHING WENT WRONG,,, THERE WOULD BE TWO WITNESSES TO TESTIFY ON BEHALF OF THE SENDER,,, BECAUSE LEGALLY,,, THEY REPRESENTED JESUS HIMSELF,,, AND SPIRITUALLY,,, THEY WERE ACTING ON HIS AUTHORITY! 

THE TRUTH THAT JESUS IS TEACHING US,,, IS THAT FOR US TO DO THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY,,, WE ARE NEVER BY OURSELVES.

WE NEED HELP,,, AND CONSTANT ENCOURAGEMENT! SO,,, JESUS GAVE US,,, THESE SPECIAL TOOLS,,, TO ASSIST US,,, IN OUR MINISTRY. JESUS GIVES US,,, THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR MINISTRY!

(VS#7) IN TODAYS GOSPEL,,, SAYS; “THAT JESUS GAVE THEM AUTHORITY OVER UNCLEAN SPIRITS”.

(*) JESUS ISN’T ASKING YOU TO MINISTER ALONE!

(*) HE’S NOT ASKING YOU TO DO THIS,,, WITH JUST 

YOUR OWN STRENGTH,,,

(*) HE’S NOT ASKING YOU,,, TO BATTLE THE FORCES 

OF EVIL,,, ALL BY YOURSELF! 

HE’S GIVING US,,, HIS POWER FOR MINISTRY!

IN (PHILIPPIAN’S 4:13),,, SCRIPTURE SAYS:

“I CAN DO ALL THINGS,,, THROUGH CHRIST,,, WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH”.

JESUS GIVES: PROVISIONS FOR OUR MINISTRY!

NOW,,, GALILEE,,, WAS VERY HILLY,,, ROCKY PLACE SO,,, THE WALKING STICK THAT THEY WERE TO TAKE WITH THEM,,, WOULD BE QUITE NECESSARY.

THEIR PROVISIONS WERE LIGHT. THEY WERE TO TAKE ONLY ONE PAIR OF SANDALS,,, THE CLOTHES ON THEIR BACKS,,, AND NO EXTRA CLOTHES,,, TO COVER THEMSELVES AT NIGHT. 

THEY WERE TO FOCUS ON THEIR MINISTRY AND NOT BECOME PREOCUPIED WITH THE MATERIAL THINGS OF THIS WORLD. THEY WERE TO COMPLETELY LIVE BY FAITH,,, THAT GOD WOULD PROVIDE FOOD AND SHELTER,,, IN THE TOWNS AND HOMES OF THOSE TO WHOM THEY WERE MINISTERING TO.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,, THIS IS A LESSON FOR US ALL TODAY! IN THESE TROUBLING ECONOMIC TIMES,,, OF WORLDWIDE INSECURITY,,, WHERE IS YOUR FOCUS OF ATTENTION?

ARE YOU GOING TO BE FAITHFUL,,, LIVING DISCIPLES OF JESUS? STORING UP,,, SPIRITUAL TREASURES IN HEAVEN,,, WHERE MOTH AND RUST,,, CANNOT DESTROY AND WHERE THIEVES CANNOT BREAK IN AND STEAL,,, OR,,, ARE YOU GOING TO BE CONSUMED WITH FEAR,,, DEPENDING ON THE MATERIAL THINGS OF THIS WORLD? 

WILL YOU BE STORING UP TEMPORARY TREASURES ON EARTH,,, WHERE MOTHS AND RUST DO DESTROY AND THIEVES DO STEAL,,, 

OR,,, ARE YOU GOING TO LIVE BY FAITH,,, IN THE GOD OF OUR SALVATION,,, WHO SAYS,,, IN CHAPTER 6,,,

DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR LIFE,,, WHAT YOU WILL EAT OR DRINK,,, OR ABOUT YOUR BODY,,, WHAT YOU WILL WEAR. FOR THE PAGANS RUN AFTER THESE THINGS!

AND YOUR HEAVANLY FATHER KNOWS THAT YOU NEED THEM. BUT SEEK OUT,,, THE KINGDOM OF GOD,,, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU,,, AS WELL”. 

THE APOSTLES WERE JUST BEGINNING TO,,, GET THEIR FEET WET,,, AND JESUS WANTED THEM TO KNOW,,, EARLY ON,,, THAT GOD’S CALL,,, WILL NEVER LET THEM LACK FOR ANYTHING,,, AND GOD WANTS US TO KNOW,,, THAT WHEN WE STEP OUT IN FAITH,,, TO SERVE HIM,,, WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE EVERYTHING THAT WE NEED,,, TO LIVE OUR LIVES. NOT ALL THE THINGS THAT WE WANT,,, BUT,,, ALL THE THINGS THAT WE NEED!

IN (VS #10) JESUS SAID: “WHENEVER YOU ENTER A HOUSE,,, STAY THERE,,, UNTIL YOU LEAVE THAT TOWN”.

IN OTHER WORDS,,, DON’T GO RUNNING AROUND,,, LOOKING FOR THE NICEST ACCOMODATIONS. STAY WHEREVER YOU ARE WELCOMED. IN THAT WAY,,, THE DISCIPLES WOULDN’T LEAVE THE IMPRESSION,,, THAT THEIR MISSION,,, WAS ALL ABOUT THEMSELVES,,, RATHER THAN REPRESENTING JESUS!

IN (VS#11) JESUS SAYS: IF ANY PLACE WILL NOT WELCOME YOU,,, OR LISTEN TO YOU,,, SHAKE THE DUST OFF YOUR FEET,,, WHEN YOU LEAVE,,, AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM”.

IT WAS THE CUSTOM,,, THAT ANY JEWISH PERSON WHO HAD TRAVELED OUTSIDE PALESTINE,,, WOULD CAREFULLY SHAKE OFF THE DUST OF THE GENTILE TERRITORIES,,, THAT TGHEY HAD PASSED THROUGH. BY THIS ACTION,,, THEY WERE DISASSOCIATING THEMSELVES FROM THOSE COUNTRIES. 

THE CUSTOM OF SHAKING OF THE DUST,,, WAS LIKE TREATING THEM LIKE A GENTILE,,, BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO HEAR THEIR MESSAGE AND TO RECEIVE THE DISCIPLES,,, WHO HAD FULFILLED THEIR MINISTRY OBLIGATION AND THAT SOMEDAY,,, THEY WOULD HAVE TO ANSWER TO GOD. 

AFTER JESUS HAD TOLD THEM THIS,,, IN (VS#12) THE DISCIPLES WENT OFF PREACHING REPENTENCE. 

MARK TELLS US IN (VS#13) THAT THEY DROVE OUT MANY DEMONS AND THEY ANOINTED,,, WITH OIL,,, MANY WHO WERE SICK AND HEALED THEM!

THE DISCIPLES PREACHED THAT PEOPLE NEEDED TO REPENT,,, TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS AND HEARTS,,, ABOUT THEIR SIN,,, HOW THEY WERE LIVING,,, AND ABOUT WHO JESUS WAS,,, THEIR MESSIAH!

THEY NEEDED TO ACCEPT HIM,,, AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR,,, JUST AS SO MANY PEOPLE NEED TO TODAY!

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JESUS TRAINED THE DISCIPLES! AS HE CALLED THEM,,, HE ALSO CALLED ME,,, AND THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY,,, TO DO OUR JOBS.

THOSE JOBS,,, BROTHERS AND SISTERS,,,ARE TO TEACH YOU,,, SO THAT YOU TOO,,, CAN BE PROPERLY PREPARED TO DO THE WORK OF MINISTRY,,, BY LOVING,,, CARING,,, TOUCHING AND SHARING THE LOVE WITH OTHERS.

WE’RE CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PREPARE GOD’S PEOPLE,,, FOR THE WORKS OF MINISTRY,,, SO THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST,,, MAY BE BUILT UP!

THOSE 12 DISCIPLES OF JESUS,,, COULDN’T HAVE DONE,,, ALL THAT’S BEEN DONE,,, OVER THESE PAST 2000 YEARS,,, ALL ALONE. THEY NEEDED THE HELP OF THE PEOPLE,,, PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU!

I’VE SPOKEN ABOUT THIS EXACT SAME TOPIC,,, FOR MANY… MANY YEARS,,, IN MY PAST HOMILIES AND AT BIBLE STUDIES. 

WE ALL NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN SOME KIND OF MINISTRY,,, LIKE;

(*) SERVING ON THE LORD’S ALTAR,,, 

(*) ASSISTING WITH BIBLE STUDY CLASSES,,,

(*) TEACHING AND PREPARING THE CHILDREN FOR 

1ST HOLY COMMUNION,,, 

(*) SINGING IN THE CHOIR,,, 

(*) MINISTERING TO THE SICK,,, AS EUCHARISTIC  

MINISTERS.

(*) SHARING CHRIST’S LOVE AND GRACE WITH 

THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW HIM YET,,, AND,,,

(*) PERHAPS EVEN STUDYING TO ENTER INTO HOLY 

ORDERS.

SO TODAY,,, I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU,,, 

LIKE JESUS DID,,, TO HIS DISCIPLES,,,

GO OUT & SHARE THE WORD & LOVE OF THE LORD 

WITH ANYONE AND EVERYONE,,, WHO WILL LISTEN.

AND IF YOU ARE NOT WELCOMED,,,

THEN,,, JUST SHAKE OFF THE DUST OF YOUR SHOES AND MOVE ON TO SOMEONE ELSE,,,

SOMEONE,,, WHO IS OPEN,,, TO THE LOVE,,,

OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

+++ AMEN+++