Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

sending_twelve.jpg

 Mark 6. 7-13

"Jesus … began to send them out"

Following an initial period in which the apostles accompanied Jesus and learned from him, the time came when he sent them out to extend his mission to the surrounding towns and villages. His mission was essentially to bring the good news of the Reign of God’s love for the world and for everyone in it. He was anxious, therefore, that this good news should reach everyone. Clearly, acceptance of that message of love must make a difference to people’s lives, so with it came also the call to ‘repentance’, an invitation to change, to make acceptance of God's love the foundation of a new way of living. So we read, "they set off to preach repentance".

Like the original apostles, every baptised Christian is called not only to be one with Christ but also to be sent by him to continue his mission. When we profess our belief in an apostolic Church we do not mean only that our Church has the apostles at its origins, but also that the Church is of its very nature apostolic. The Church is the Body of Christ on earth and consequently it is essentially missionary; every member is in some way an apostle. This cannot be overstressed. The 'good news' of salvation is not intended by God to be guarded jealously. It is for the whole of creation.

The Church is in the world for the world. It does not exist for itself but for others. Like the first apostles, the Church should travel as lightly as possible, relying not on power or possessions, but solely on its living witness to the gospel. By truly believing in the original message of Jesus and honestly seeking to pursue lives rooted in God's love and truth, members of the Church bring that message into the cares and hopes and concerns of the world about them.