If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are: First Reading: Ezra 9:5-9 Responsorial: Tobit 13:2-4, 7-8 Gospel: Luke 9:1-6
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings: “...and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God…” Luke 9:2
Today’s reading from Luke describes the first time that Jesus sends his twelve disciples out on their own to preach the good news and to cure diseases. Up until this point, they have been traveling around Galilee with him and supporting him in his ministry to the people and presumably learning from his words and actions. Now he is sending them out on their own. Perhaps this was their first “trial run” of their own ministry which would follow after Jesus’ ascension. He instructs them to go out without packing anything – no extra clothing, food or even money – and to rely on the hospitality of those they meet.
Like the original twelve disciples, we Christians today are called to go out and proclaim the Kingdom of God. At the end of each Mass, the dismissal from the priest or deacon reminds us of this responsibility. But our modern world is much different from that of Jesus’ time. Many of us travel in vehicles, not by foot; we don’t always feel comfortable talking with complete strangers; modern technology has pulled us away from direct, in-person communication; and many of us have everything we need for comfortable journeys so that we don’t need to rely on the kindness of strangers.
So how can we imitate the disciples? Maybe we can start by talking with those people who are right in our midst. A new co-worker that I haven’t yet taken the time to welcome? A neighbor across the street that I’ve waved to but never really talked with? A person I’m standing in line with to buy a sandwich or coffee or sitting next to on the bus? Maybe a conversation to get acquainted will lead to a conversation about my faith and God acting in my life. I’m going to try it this week.