Jesus sends out the disciples: His mission is our mission
“Calling the Twelve to him, [Jesus] began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’” (Mark 6: 7-12)
“The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” (LS 84)
By Carmelite Fr. Dr. Eduardo Agosta Scarel
The Gospel texts narrate the beginnings of Jesus’ activity in Galilee, now with the collaboration of the disciples. The mission of Jesus, which is to show the nearness of the Kingdom of God, is now the mission of his disciples.
As the psalmist says: all of creation rejoices at the coming of the Lord, who rules the world with justice and mercy. That is why the kingdom announced by Jesus is a kingdom of justice, integral healing, and peace.
Fr. Dr. Eduardo Agosta Scarel
As disciples of Jesus today, that mission is also our mission. We have the power of Jesus in the Word of life and the hope that we proclaim through our convictions of faith and the witness of our lives: restrained, simple, and happy to announce the Good News to all creation.
Our faith in Jesus tells us that God unconditionally loves every human being. God forgives everything and always.
Jesus also teaches us that every creature is the work of God’s love, that we are capable of perceiving the “caress of God” if we try to enjoy, without selfish pretensions, the goods of the Earth: the water, the mountain, the river, the air, the soil, the sea, the forests, the plants, and the animals.
Likewise, we testify with our own lives that often “less is more” in the face of a culture of excess and overindulgence, if we learn not to accumulate in our infinite backpacks of desire.
Watch the February prayer service featuring Fr. Dr. Eduardo Agosta Scarel
And we also show that true justice is only possible if we desire peace, that is, if we are tolerant, if we respect the dignity of others, if we seek the good of every inhabitant of this Earth, even if that inhabitant thinks differently, believes differently, or is nothing like us.
In this way, we will be able to reconcile ourselves and build alliances of peace between ourselves and creation.
- Are we capable of personally taking on the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus by being men and women of peace? That is, by being peaceful and tolerant of those who are different from us?
- If others were to see our lifestyles, would our lifestyles match our beliefs and our words? Do we convince others with our way of living?
- Are my relationships with nature fair? How many times have I tried to reduce my carbon footprint in the last few months? Have I lowered my level of consumption of durable material goods (clothes, shoes, electronics, etc.)? Have I discarded, reused, recycled, or repaired anything in the last month?
Fr. Dr. Eduardo Agosta Scarel, is a Carmelite priest and climate scientist who teaches at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires.
The above reflection and questions were adapted from the February Laudato Si’ Resource. The spiritual resource is produced monthly for Laudato Si’ Animators, Laudato Si’ Circles, and everyday Catholics to use and help them grow closer to our Creator.