July 19, 2015

In the first, the apostles return from having been sent out on mission two by two (“one who is sent” is the meaning of “apostle”). Their instructions were to preach repentance, drive out demons, and heal the sick in Jesus’ name. In the second sentence, Jesus tells them to come away with him and rest a while. It would be nice for us to imagine that, between those two sentences, a look of amazed gratitude and pleasure crossed the face of Jesus as he hears of the kingdom proclaimed in his name, and how they didn’t have to shake the dust off their feet anywhere. They deserved a rest! It might not be bad for us, when we gather together with Jesus as the apostles do today, to do this kind of debriefing, allowing the Lord to hear what we’ve sought to do in his name, our successes, our failures, our need to get away with him for a while to be fortified for further work in God’s name. For we, the baptized, are not only the flock of Jesus Christ; through water and the power of the Spirit we have also become the Body of Christ, the presence of the Shepherd for the life of the world.

 

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