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July 8, 1994     The Message
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1994 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 -- Commentary-- The sending out of the twelve: Missionary instructions Gospel commentary for 1994, Fifteenth Sunday, Time, Cycle B, Mark According to Mark's story or began choosing and ties from the begin- ministry to the people. Greek and Latin words are derived from verbs to learn. The disciple is be trained to carry on kind of work after the is no longer able to do so. our gospels Jesus had disciples, both women and men. Out of these he is said to have chosen 12 men to be espe- to himself for special training. Men were accord with the custom of the day. It was - for a woman to be involved in public life and ac- although there were exceptions. Jesus' disciples had by this time received much Jesus had taught and worked mir- them as witnesses. Time for action. He the 12 special disciples and gives marching or- They are to go out two by two. The pairing of may or may not have originated with It is quite possible that Jewish missionaries of other religions already had this John the Baptist sent a pair of disciples to on a mmmon of information. The practice of es was continued in early Chris- as we see in three gospels and in the Acts of Examples: Peter and John, Paul and Paul and Silas. B v FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST Jesus gave them power over unclean spirits, as Mark had al- ready pointed out in his story of the choosing of 12 in 3:15. How- ever, in 9:18 we run into an episode in which the power of the disciples over demons was stymied because of their lack of prayer. Jesus has to take over an exor- cism. Exorcisms played a major role in Christian ministry as it seems to have done in the ministry of Jesus. There were also Jewish exorcists and we read of exorcism contests and conflicts between Jewish and Christian missionar- ies. Examples: Luke 9:49-50 and Acts 19:13-20. Jesus sends his disciples without much to go on. They could take nothing except a staff, no bread, no bag for provisions, no money. They could wear sandals but take one shirt, the one they were wearing. The lack of a change of clothing would certainly make them more detectable. In Matthew's form of the missionary instructions they are not even allowed to wear sandals. Mark gives no reason for this whole lack of provisions but Matthew supplies one: "for the laborer de- serves his food." The point seems to be that God will take care of those who "seek first the kingdom of God." The disciples are to stay the in first house which receives them. Nothing is said about the length of their stay. However, in another first cen- tury book called "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" Christians were instructed to "receive every missionary coming to you. Let him remain one day and if need be also a second day. But if he stays three days he is a false prophet." Obviously the open.house policy led to fakery and mooching. If mis- sionaries were rejected in a town, they were to shake the dust from their feet as a witness against that town when they left it. One suspects this regulation did not come from Jesus himself nor seems to have originated in Christianity. There is evidence that Jews returning to Palestine from Gentile territory : did the same. Such are the instructions for Christian mission- aries in early Christianity. Only the bare essentials were permitted. Advance men, limousines, Rolex watches, theme parks, and mansions would have seemed very much out of place for people who preached and supposedly lived according to the gospel. The true missionary of the gospel was ex- pected to live austerely. And such austerity did not stop with early Christianity. There was a time within living memory when the religious women and men who taught in our schools were sent into their mis- sions with almost nothing and were paid almost nothing. The gospel makes awesome demands on those who would live it. Not all are called to travel as missionaries, but as Christians we are all called to a life of simplicity that at least in some way reflects the principles behind Mark's missionary instructions: trust in God instead of possessions, hospitality in sheltering the homeless, and enough freedom from material things to make credible our own response to Jesus' command to proclaim the Good News and to bring healing to the world. Readings: Amos 7:12.15; Ephesians 1:3-14. L. Lee  ry Meridian Street IN 254-3612 MILLER & MILLER "A family name you can trust" 424-9274 III I Meyer '/ people of Heart Evansville, you attend , Sacred HeartChurch : SUMMER SOCIAL SUNDAY Give your graduate something they can really use. A direction. JULY 17 the Parish Grounds .West Franklin Street r,d Mt. Vernon Avenue or Dinners and Dumplings Served beginning at 11:00 1 Our air-conditioned cafeteria. will also be available. BE GIVEN AWAY! FOR THE FAMILY! J l I IIIII I I Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald ]. Traylor President , Phone: 486,3B5 IIII I I I I  I Jill IIIIIIIII III COMPLETE INSUCE SERVICEi  Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will ins. Agency Inc. 1925 W. Franklin Street 425-3187 III  [ Covenant House Faith Community Know a graduate who's still searching for their next move? Tell them they can put what they've learned and what they believe -- to work by putting the Gospel into action. Covenant House Faith Community is Christian men and women of all ages, helping the truly forgotten  homeless kids. Members commit themselves to 13 months of service helpingyoung people while living in a lay Christian community dedicated to a prayerfid lifestyle. Faith Community is a vibrant, action-oriented and deeply spiritual challenge. No special talents or religious knowledge are required. What it takes ts a commitment to God, fellow community members and the homeless kids of our ciw streets. Tell your graduate 'about this richly rewarding challenge of a lifetime. Where they can put their education  and their faith to work. Write or call: Orientatimt Director, Cotnant Hrmse Faith CommuJty, Dept. B 346 W.. 17th Street, Neu, York, NY 10011 (212) 727-4971