Jesus then went around the villages, teaching. He 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.
There is something moving about today’s first reading. In it we see dying David giving his last advice to his son Solomon. We sense a great urgency in his words. And do we not share the same feeling when we ourselves give advice to our children on how to lead a good and Christian life? How we would like them to grow up into real lovers of God and neighbor! And we do our best to show them the way by setting a good example, by frequently reminding them of their Christian duties, by lovingly correcting them whenever necessary, by praying for their progress, and by hoping with all our hearts that they will eventually turn out to be the sterling human beings we dream they will become. But we know that, despite our best efforts, anything can happen. Why? Because we are dealing with free agents. In the end each one of our children will choose his or her character. Jesus was a superb teacher, yet he was not successful with Judas. People are free—and even God respects their free decisions. This thought should console us when we fail as parents.
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