July 6, 2011
Today’s reading: Matthew 10:1-7
Today’s gospel is about the commissioning and sending on mission of the Twelve by Jesus. In the same way, Jesus commissions us in CFC-FFL and sends us off on mission. We are a missionary community.
Jesus “gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.” (Mt 10:1). The apostles literally did that–driving out evil spirits from physical possession of people and physically healing people from their illnesses. Today these still happen in Christian ministry, but no longer as extensively. What does happen is the spiritual reality behind the physical manifestations. Driving out unclean spirits is to bring people from out of the dominion of the evil one to a renewed and transformed life in Christ. It is a transition from darkness to light. Curing every disease and illness is the work of total human liberation–bringing people to fullness and wholeness of life as children of a loving and generous God.
Just like the Twelve (Mt 10:2-3), those whom God calls to serve Him are a motley lot, mainly ordinary folk. Just like them, we have no previous experience of Christian ministry. And as was then, some of those called still betray the Lord (Mt 10:4)–veering away from the call, disobeying Church authority, maligning other workers in the vineyard.
What basically was the work of the Twelve? They were to proclaim that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt 10:7). This is the work ofevangelization. For us in CFC-FFL, we have been given the same call. In fact, this is what our charism is all about. We are to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. We are to proclaim Christ. We are to bring people to Christ and help form them into living their lives in and for Christ.
The Twelve were also instructed thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mt 10:5-6). Today the house of Israel corresponds to the Catholic Church, the Samaritans to our separated Protestant brethren, and the pagans to those who are non-Christians. Our work in CFC-FFL is a work of re-evangelization, basically within the Catholic Church. We are a Catholic ecclesial movement and we reach out to Catholics, especially those who are nominal, cultural or lapsed. We desire to help strengthen our Church, which today is the only institution standing against the global anti-life and anti-family forces.
Jesus called and commissioned the Twelve two millennia ago. Today Jesus still calls and commissions all those who profess to be his disciples. To be a true disciple is to be an apostle, that is, one who is sent. The Twelve faced a daunting task. Today the Catholic Church also faces a formidable task, in the face of powerful diabolical forces rampaging throughout the world. It is an all-out war for the hearts, minds and souls of people.
We in CFC-FFL are privileged to be part of God‚s work. We have been called, commissioned, and given the very strength of God. Let us go forth and continue proclaiming the kingdom of God.