Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 326

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.

Jesus' disciples were so surprised, amazed and elated at his resurrection, and the Church forever remains so encouraged, delighted and wonder-struck that perhaps we can be forgiven for not remembering what he said when he arose.

He didn't say, "I'm okay!" like a 19th century stuntman, 20th century daredevil or latter day Xtreme Athlete who survives a tumble over Niagara Falls or a fifty mile drop from outer space. 

He didn't say, "I'm okay" because he was never the center of his own existence. Rather,he said "Go into the whole world and tell the good news."  

Even his Resurrection was not all about him. It was his obedient response to God the Father who sent him to us. 

The name Jesus means savior and the name Christ means anointed by the Holy Spirit. Who is Jesus Christ? He is the Savior sent by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. His name is his identity and yet even his name is not about him; it points away from him to the Father and to us. 

The "individual" who thinks only for himself and about himself will be mystified by Jesus. Nothing about him will make sense to one whose center is himself. 

We adore Mary's Son -- and rightly -- because he is God's gift to us, because he has loved us as his own people, and because he gathers us in the Spirit as His gift to the Father.

When we hear, as in today's gospel, of Jesus sending us out two by two we understand that we are filled with the Spirit that compelled him from Heaven into our world. It drives us as it drove him, from our comfort zones into the dangerous, fascinating, needy, beautiful world. 
(Married couples especially might take this "two by two" arrangement to heart. Marriage is not about the couple; it's about the good news they are sent to announce to their children, church and neighbors. Their love for one another is essential to their message, of course, because by it they demonstrate the integrity of God's love.)

Accepting his appointment to GO, we remember that Jesus' passion, death and resurrection is not just for me. It's for everyone. 

He rose from the dead to send us to the dead and announce life.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.