Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection February 01, 2024


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R/. O Lord, you rule over all.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: Jesus called the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.

1.      As David was about to die, he exhorted his son Solomon to be steadfast in God’s ways. He says, Be strong and solid, and keep the charge of the Lord your God. Walk before Him in faithfulness with all your heart and with all your soul. Keep His statutes, His commandments, His rules, and His testimonies.

2.       And in fact, this is the same and simple mission of all of us. It is to cling to God always and to follow His ways. In other words, it is to establish God’s kingdom both within us and around us. It is the same mission that Jesus entrusts his disciples.

3.       He sends them two by two. They are told to bring people to repentance. They are empowered with his own authority to heal. They are ordered not to carry any material securities or conveniences like bread, bags, money, or tunics. They are told to move away shaking off the dust on their feet when rejected.

4.       The missionary implications are quite clear. To carry out and accomplish the mission, first of all, a personal adherence to the Lord in depth, intimacy, and commitment is essential. Doing the Lord’s work effectively depends on being with the Lord passionately.

5.       Mission is more a collective and collaborative work and not merely an individual enterprise. We need mutual support. The whole thrust of the mission is to lead people to repentance and not self-performance. The focal objective is to establish God’s kingdom and not petty kingdoms.

6.       In this process, the sole equipment is the Lord’s own power, and that is the power of the Spirit. Thereby, we should not excessively lean on worldly securities, guarantees, and conveniences. They can be made use but they cannot be the crucial determinants of our entire mission.

7.       The pursuit, as well as the quality of our missionary endeavours, cannot exclusively hinge on worldly securities. Nothing of the world can overpower or replace the power of God.

8.       An authority is truly the Lord’s when it is spiritual and divine and not secular or profane. And all power and authority are meant for healing and for no other purpose or objective. Any authority that does not bring forth healing is a false authority.

9.       Finally, we should be so detached even from the results. We should not expect only success but rather should be prepared even to shake off the dust from our feet.

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