Gospel: Mt 10:7-15
Go, and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely have you received, freely give. Do not carry any gold or silver or money in your purses. Do not take a traveling bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a walking stick: workers deserve to be compensated.
When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave.
When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people are worthy people, your peace will rest on them; if they are not worthy people, your blessing will come back to you.
And if you are not welcomed, and your words are not listened to, leave that house or that town, and shake the dust off your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than it will for the people of that town.
In today’s Gospel text, Jesus gives missionary instructions to the apostles. The Church is by nature missionary. Hence they are instructions for all Christians. In the fulfillment of this task the main focus should be the gospel message. The primary aim is to bring people to salvation through the proclamation of the Good News. We have to make sure that our energies are not diverted to anything that might compromise the message such as greed for possessions, lust for power, fame or popularity. To be effective as missionaries we are to remove anything that would weigh us down physically, psychologically or spiritually. We are not to allow opposition and rejection to bother us.
Missionary work does not always require us to go to foreign lands to proclaim the Gospel. For most of us the “mission place“ is the home, the office or the neighborhood. Usually, the most effective means of proclaiming the Gospel is the witness of a lifestyle that is rooted in the teachings of Jesus. Beyond that, we are challenged to share joyfully the gift of faith to our contemporaries with a “new fervor, new language and new methods.“