The commissioning of the disciples

By: Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles Jr. February 06,2014 - 07:36 AM

1st Reading:  1Kgs 2:1-4, 10-12 / Gospel:  Mk  6:7-13

Jesus called the Twelve to him and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over evil spirits. And he ordered them to take nothing for the journey except a staff; no food, no bag, no money in their belts. They were to wear sandals and were not to take an extra tunic.

And he added, “In whatever house you are welcomed, stay there until you leave the place. If any place doesn’t receive you and the people refuse to listen to you, leave after shaking the dust off your feet. It will be a testimony against them.”

So they set out to proclaim that this was the time to repent. They drove out many demons and healed many sick people by anointing them.


My most memorable Sinulog experience as a media practitioner was nine years ago when I went on air literally because I was up in the air on board a chopper to cover the Sinulog street dancing.  While boarding I noticed that we still had an extra seat. I told the pilot, “This chopper can still accommodate one more passenger; why did we leave the broadcast technician behind?” “Carrying too much load is bad for flying”, the pilot explained. “Moreover, the technician is not really necessary for now”.

The pilot’s explanation plunged me into deep reflection. To me it was an unforgettable lesson. Just as too much load is bad for aviation so is undue preoccupation with material provision bad for the mission. This concept finds support in what Jesus did in today’s Gospel reading.   In commissioning his disciples as evangelizers he advised them to travel light. “He ordered them to take nothing for the journey except a staff; no food, no bag, no money in their belts. They were to wear sandals and were not to take an extra tunic” (Mk. 6:8-12).

By our baptism we too have received the commission to be witnesses to faith. Faith basically consists in this: that we embrace God as our only Master by loving our neighbors. We are supposed to tell the world that this life is meaningful only when it becomes conducive to embracing God in others. How can we become true witnesses if we wallow in materialism and despise our neighbors in defiance of God’s desire that we love him in others?

Witnessing is like a helicopter ride. Just as flying places one above the rest, witnessing urges one to rise above all others in terms of material detachment and to excel in the art of love.

While flying means going up in order to observe others down below, witnessing means going down below in order to raise others up. By so raising others up, we also soar high till we get to the bosom of God, our only Master.



God our Father, grant us sincerity of hearts so that detached from material things we may soar high in our observance of your commandment of love. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


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