REFLECTION CAPSULE – December 04, 2021: Saturday

“Cycling our way, with our Heavenly Father, in this exciting art of Mission!”

(Based on Isa 30:19-21, 23-26 and Mt 9:35-10:1,5-8 – Saturday of the 1st Week in Advent)

One of the exciting things in life, which many of us have gone through, is learning a bicycle.

These days, bicycles come with a special set of training wheels that are attached to the back wheels.

The two little wheels attached to the back wheel are there to help provide balance and confidence to the rider.

But many of us, would have also learnt the bicycle in the old-fashioned way…
… the parent or a friend who ran alongside the one learning, until the rider got under way.

This person, who would be accompanying, would most often say three things, while learning this art of cycling…

  1. Always keep the eye on the road…
    …to keep the focus
  2. Don’t lean to the left or the right side…
    … to have proper balance
  3. Remember, I am always there with you…
    … to feel the confidence and trust

These three principles would help the person to learn quick this art of cycling.

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus sending out the Twelve…to learn the Art of Mission…

Like the art of cycling…the Apostles are also given some basic principles…
…the principle to keep focus
… the principle to have a proper balance
… the principle of confidence and trust

The ministry of Jesus had gained a lot of popularity.

There were crowds of people following Him…
There were multitudes of persons attracted to Him…

The Heart of the Lord is moved in empathy for these people.

The Gospel says, “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36)

The ministry of Jesus had also gained a lot of opposition.

Many of the religious leaders were greatly taken aback by the raw authoritative power of Jesus
Many of the Scribes and Pharisees were greatly offended by the blunt and open challenges by Jesus
Many of the local and family people were greatly scandalized by the boldness and courage of Jesus

But as the saying goes… “Challenges are what makes life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful!”

Though opposition and challenges were raging hard against the ministry of Jesus…
… He remained courageous and determined.

And so, He chose the Twelve…
… who would be with Him and to be sent out (Mk 3:14)

The Twelve were to be His extension – of His Teachings, of His Works

And so, He not only chooses the Twelve, but He also sends them on a mission
A mission…
…with an authority over unclean spirits
…to proclaim the Kingdom of God
… to preach repentance and peace

In this art of mission, the Lord gives a few instructions and principles…
… and “also gave authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness” (Mt 10:1)

The Twelve were to learn…
… to keep focus on the preaching of repentance and bringing healing to people
… to have a proper balance by not getting discouraged in the face of any sort of rejection
… to have confidence and trust in the Lord Who was with them to provide what they needed

Each of us, by virtue of our following Christ, is a missionary…

Am I focussing on preaching only His Gospel and living only His life….
… or do I get distracted with other agenda and motives?

Am I having the proper balance in living the Christian life even though I face many pressures…
… or do I lose the balance and fall into the pits of lethargy, disappointments and laxity?

Am I having the confidence and the trust in the Lord and bank on Him at every turn of life…
… or do I experience perplexities of anxiety, despair and despondency?

The art of missions is exciting

We may feel a little afraid at times…
We may sometimes even fall…

But we only need to follow some of the basic principles, coupled with His Grace…
… to be focussed on the Lord alone
… to be balanced in prayer and faithfulness
… to be trusting and being confident in His awesome power
And when we embark on this art of mission…
… Just like a caring parent, who is happy to see one’s child cycling confidently…
… our Heavenly Father will also look at us with much happiness and joy and be proud of us!

Are we ready to cycle our way, with our Heavenly Father, in this exciting art of Mission?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Jesus is the Father’s Emissary!
From the beginning of his ministry, He “called to Him those whom He desired; and He appointed twelve, whom also He named apostles, to be with Him, and to be sent out to preach.”
From then on, they would also be his “emissaries” (Greek apostoloi).
In them, Christ continues His own mission
The apostles’ ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesus said to the Twelve: “He who receives you receives me.”
Jesus unites them to the mission He received from the Father.
Those whom Jesus sends can do nothing apart from Him, from whom they received both the mandate for their mission and the power to carry it out.
Christ’s apostles knew that they were called by God as “ministers of a new covenant,” “servants of God,” “ambassadors for Christ,” “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”
In the office of the apostles there is one aspect that cannot be transmitted: to be the chosen witnesses of the Lord’s Resurrection and so the foundation stones of the Church.
But their office also has a permanent aspect. Christ promised to remain with them always.

The Divine Mission entrusted by Jesus to them “will continue to the end of time, since the Gospel they handed on is the lasting source of all life for the Church. Therefore… the apostles took care to appoint successors. (CCC # 858-860)

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