26 January 2019; Call to incarnate the Gospel

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Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops

Reading 1 2 Tm 1:1-8; Gospel Mk 3:20-21

In the Gospel passage of today we see the recommendations of Jesus to the seventy two disciples whom he sent on a preaching tour to the various places He intended to visit. What HE tells them to say is reduced to two sentences. The first one is simply a greeting, “peace to this house.” The second sentence therefore should contain the content of what their preaching is to be all about. And what does it say? Simply this, “the reign of God is at hand”. Now this is indeed an important piece of news, no doubt about it.  Did Jesus demand from the disciples to explain to the people about the parables and the miracles performed by Jesus, not at all. Jesus says nothing of the sort. The only message the seventy two are to deliver is one sentence, “the reign of God is at hand”. He also gives them certain instructions. The first instruction Jesus gives them is that, they are to pray, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to His harvest”. Secondly they must act with innocence and honesty, never having recourse to trickery or deceit of any kind. That is what Jesus means, when He says, “I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves”. The instructions go on. In sort these instructions of Jesus insist little on what the missionaries should say, but they insist on what the missionaries should do. Their life style and behaviour will speak louder than anything they can say.

We are the successors of the seventy two disciples, for we, too, are sent to the world as Christ’s representatives. And the moment people learn that we publicly profess being Christians, they will observe how we behave. Our actions will always speak louder than our words. The way to follow Jesus is in listening to what He said and doing what He did. This is the best advertisement to the world, of true Christian living. Our task is to radiate the love and mercy of God. Let us make incarnation of the merciful saviour an everyday reality in the present world. Thus, we become sons of God, walking on earth.

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