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Thursday, February 1, 2001

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Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24
Psalm 48
Mark 6:7-13

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"He instructed them to take nothing on their journey." —Mark 6:8

Jesus sent the apostles out on mission with almost no material goods (Mk 6:8ff). He wanted them to be wholly occupied with the work of proclaiming His kingdom. It would be an unnecessary distraction to be concerned with what they were to eat or wear (Mk 6:8-9; see also Mt 6:31). So Jesus sent forth the apostles without food or extra clothes. If the apostles had brought money, they might have used valuable time spending it. So Jesus sent them on mission without a coin (Mk 6:8). Jesus did tell the apostles to take walking sticks and to wear sandals (Mk 6:8-9). These would enable them to cover more territory faster in proclaiming God's kingdom. Jesus also commanded the apostles not to get bogged down proclaiming the gospel to those who persisted in rejecting it. Jesus said: "If any place will not receive you or hear you, shake its dust from your feet" (Mk 6:11).

It is clear that Jesus wants us out on the streets, on the highways and byways (see Lk 14:21), in the marketplace, in public proclaiming His kingdom. There is no time to waste. We need a streamlined, uncluttered Christianity that "exists in order to evangelize" (On Evangelization, Pope Paul VI, 14). Pope John Paul II proclaimed: "I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization and to the mission" to the nations (Mission of the Redeemer, 3). Go out now for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, as I proclaim the gospel, make me well aware that it is a matter of everlasting life or death.

Promise:  "O God, we ponder Your kindness within Your temple." —Ps 48:10

Praise:  George put a Scripture quote on his business cards and checks.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000