As I reflect on the scriptures this week I recall a common subject that I’ve spoken and written on. Called, Appointed and Anointed is the nature of the life of each Christian. But here we see another important step. Today Jesus sends His disciples out two by two. There is a clear mission and purpose, they are sent to prepare for His coming.
The disciples have already been called, they are followers of Jesus. Having walked with Jesus, and been instructed by Him and being in relationship with Him. Jesus now appoints them to a specific task. They are sent to prepare for His arrival to the towns and villages He plans to visit. In this appointing and sending He does so assuring His disciples that they need not fear nor worry. Not only is He with them but he will provide for them.
There is much work to be done, the Harvest is plenty and Laborers are few. The work of ministry is great and there is a need for more persons to step up to and be willing to serve. We have already been called by Christ through our Baptism, and having grown in knowledge of Him, those who truly seek to live for Christ and the bearing witness to His kingdom cannot allow fear to hold them back. So often what keeps us from truly following Christ is fear. Whether we’re afraid of the magnitude of the task ahead, or fearful of having what we need, Jesus assures us that He is not leaving us alone for the work of ministry.
I recall when I was a much younger priest and pastor I often worried and questioned, Lord should I go here or there, should I be a pastor, should I just preach or should I do Campus ministry? Then I’d wonder, should I work in California, or St. Louis or Florida, what should I do? Something became very clear as I transitioned from one ministry to another, and that is God is able and willing to use me wherever I might be. It really doesn’t matter where I would go God is already preparing me for whatever lies ahead.
God chooses us for the purpose of preparing others to receive Him in their lives. There is much work to do as so many experience the lack of love, meaning and belonging. As we look to the world around us we might even have feelings of being overwhelmed by all that is happening in our lives and around us. Christ placed within His disciples His ability and empowered them so much so that they returned rejoicing that even in the Spiritual warfare over evil they conquered in Jesus’ name.
Who will step up as apostles? Who will speak truth to power? Who will prepare the way for those who so desperately need Jesus? Jesus desires to enter into the lives of those who don’t know Him and are in need of His liberating power. God wants to use you! He wants to utilize the faith in you to be an instrument for others to come to know the power of God available for their lives. You see our faith and desire for Christ is not just for us, but rather Jesus wants to use it for others. The missionary call of each of us is to be appointed and sent. We not only grow in our relationship with Christ for our benefit. Our following Jesus is ultimately meant to lead others to Him. Jesus says: “Behold, I have given you the power…” This power is meant to break the bonds that bind, to remove fear and doubt, the step out with fervent faith and empowered by Jesus. We are equipped for the work of ministry and we are appointed and sent. Let Jesus use you to proclaim His love and Power.