Jesus sends His 12 male Apostles to preach, heal and warn others to repent. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can help build Christ’s priesthood and by seeking the Fruit of Generosity from the Holy Spirit so he can bring the sick an dying to the Sacrament of Anointing.
4th Week in Ordinary Time – Thursday – Mk 6:7-13
After recruiting and forming His disciples, Jesus delegates His authority to 12 hand-picked men, sending them out in pairs to make disciples. The Apostles (meaning “to be sent”) are granted authority and supernatural power to cast out demons, cure every disease, announce the Kingdom of God among the Israelites and to condemn those who refuse to believe.
Jesus’ selection of 12 Jewish men as His Apostles is purposeful. God heavily invested in forming His chosen people over the millennia and converted Jews will be an early foundation of His Holy Catholic Church; picking 12 Jewish men symbolically signals to all Jews of their prominent role in Jesus’ Kingdom. Jesus’ choice to exclusively ordain men continues God’s historical decision to only call men to be His priests and to lead His people, confirms only men will be priests in the future of His Holy Catholic Church and emphasizes the centrality of male leadership in building families and the Kingdom of God.
Jesus gives the Apostles the heroic and manly mindset an evangelist must have. They are to carry a staff, an ancient tool and weapon that was a symbol of their authority and power to teach and lead (Ex 4:20) and a symbol of chastisement and protection (Ps 23:4). They are to offer Jesus’ gifts of healing without cost. They are to be completely reliant on Jesus to provide for them in their mission work, taking no money or provisions, and being obedient in poverty. Jesus commands the Apostles to find a worthy household when they enter a village and stay put; this reduces rivalry among the villagers and makes it easy for everyone to find the Apostles. If a village refuses to receive them, the Apostles are to publicly and harshly rebuke them; “shaking off the dust from one’s feet” is an ominous sign of judgment and a curse, and a prefigurement of the Judgment to come for all men.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be impressed by how Jesus, the Divine King, commands His men: He is a tough and demanding Leader who commands His men to embark on a profoundly challenging and dangerous mission (conversion of religious Jews) to build exceptional bonds of Fraternity (a part of Justice); He gives them precise orders (where to go, provisions, process); He instructs them to be highly confrontational and to Harshly Condemn those who fail to convert (cursing the unrepentant by shaking off dust); Divine Priest, He prefigures the Sacrament of Penance in the call to repentance.
Be counseled by the Spirit to build Christ’s priesthood
Realize: Jesus purposefully established His Holy Catholic Church by delegating authority on earth exclusively to men to be priests who lead His Church; every Catholic man should discern his vocation, and honor, obey and support Christ’s holy priesthood.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sacrament of Holy Orders (CCC 1536-1600).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I am guided by You to discern if I have a vocation to Holy Orders, propose a vocation to other holy Catholic men, and always offer robust support to those who have taken on the yoke of priesthood.
Bring the sick and dying to the Sacrament of Anointing
Realize: Jesus also lays the groundwork for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick as He sends out the Apostles to anoint the sick with oil.
Believe: Review the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick (CCC 1499-1532).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Generosity so that I am always generous in helping those who need healing to receive Your powerful Sacrament of Anointing.