Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus, realizing the immense need of the people He sought to serve and knowing He could not do it alone, brings in twelve of His closest followers, those who were practically brothers to Him and He gave to them the same authority His Father had given Him. Just as Jesus had power over demons and sickness, so now did they; they now could reveal the Father’s love to others just as Jesus had. Here in the commissioning of the Apostles we get a foreshadowing of that pivotal moment when Jesus gives His brothers authority over sin: the ultimate sickness, the forgiveness of which is likewise the ultimate show of the Father’s love. When He gives them power over demons and illness He is saying, in so many words, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)
He tells them to go only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, to restrict their ministry to those who know they have a Father—God—and need Him. Just as Jesus was going all about the land performing one miracle after another His Twelve go and do likewise and perhaps, there in the midst of Roman occupation and the ancient longing for God’s return to His people, some saw these miracles as signs of God’s love and dared to hope that God was again in their midst, as in days of old.
Do you see, brothers and sisters, why we, too, must imitate the Apostles and reveal the love of the Father to others? Atheism, Agnosticism, New Age spirituality and all manner of false religions and denials of God have arisen today because, sadly, a number of people have given up on there even being a Father, much less one that loves us. Can you imagine what kind of sadness leads a person to lose faith in God? It is that much more necessary, then, that we love one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34), showing others the love of God the Father, that such people might begin to hope anew in a Father who has never given up on them, even if they have done so.