By Fr Joachim Robert
Discipleship: Proclaiming God’s Kingdom
In our Gospel today, it speaks to us about this desire of Jesus to include as many people as possible into the mission that God has entrusted to Him. And the mission that Jesus was entrusted to was not a mission that was to be accomplished alone but it required a whole people to come together. And Jesus called the twelve, came to be together with them and after spending some moments with them, some time with them, then He let them out to proclaim the Good News, to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is close at hand.
And today as well we see yet another seventy two others who were commissioned in pairs, appointed and sent in pairs to go to all the places and towns that He Himself was to visit. And they went to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. And again here, dear friends, as we look at how Jesus includes the twelve and then appoints now seventy two others, it also gives us an opportunity of how we should include people in our ministry, how we should include people in the way that we ought to spread the gospel.
But the primary function of any disciple is to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
And Jesus went around spreading the Good News in communion together with all His disciples and all those who were appointed so that He can proclaim the love of God and how God loves the world and He shares that Gospel message to everyone who He met. And the way that He spread His Gospel was in the spirit of communion where He included others to participate in that mission and others as well to share in the mission that He was entrusted with.
So you see He formed a community, trains them, spends time with them and then sends them out. But He also tells us that whenever we gather together and formed disciples, we have to remember that this community is not a community that only gathers together among itself. It must be outreaching, it must be able to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel.
And He says:
The harvest is rich but the labourers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to its harvest.
Because the mission that the Lord has entrusted to each and every one of us is huge, is great and if we can work together as one community, then we can orientate, we can become the beacon of life, beacon of love and peace to people everywhere around the world. And if each one of us, by the virtue of baptism, can heed that call, we can make the world a better place. And again, it also speaks about the urgency of the message of proclaiming the Gospel. Because whenever harvest is there, you cannot wait too long before you go out and reap the harvest. Because if you don’t reap the harvest, it will wither.
But today, dear friends, the need to proclaim the Gospel is so so urgent because there are so many people around us who are crumbling or depressed, who are facing challenges of life in so many different ways. And the current economic situation is not helping either. So how can we as people who have been graced by God, by His love and mercy, able to become that beacon of light to the people around us?
And Jesus warns us that when we go and spread this Good News, we will face obstacles, we will face challenges and we are also called not to conform with the ways of the world but to proclaim the Good News to the sick and to bring healing to them.
And I am sure, dear friends, in the world there are so many missionaries out there who go out to spread the Good News, moving out from their comfort zone in order to ensure the Gospel is proclaimed. And let us not go too far. In our own families, in our own community, there are people also reaching out to one another, ensuring that God’s love is manifested in their lives, in the way they reach out to one another.
And today, we want to celebrate all the missionaries, especially all of you who are given this special privilege to become the beacon of light and hope in the world. And when we do that, we are indeed allowing God’s Kingdom to be built, God’s mission to be accomplished. What Jesus began two thousand years ago continues to be relevant, continues to be urgent even today. And Jesus asks us not to live for ourselves but to live for others and continue to do good for others.
And very often, dear friends, we may feel that this mission is only entrusted to the Bishops, the Priests and Deacons. But if you look at it in a broader perspective, each one of us are called in our own different ministries, in our own different ways. In our own different capacities, we are called to be proclaimers of the Gospel. But Jesus also gives us an invitation, an invitation not to look at our own successes but to put Him at the center of our lives. Because whenever the seventy two came back rejoicing, they said “Even devils submit to us when we use your name,”, but Jesus tells them:-
Yes, I have given you power to treat underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy, nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.
And here, dear friends, whenever we do the work of God, we must remember that God is the one who allows us and gives us the grace to be successful in our mission. It is not our success which is important but because God has used us as His instruments to allow that grace to be at work, to care for His flock, to care for His people.
So today, we also have our Communion Ministers to be re-commissioned. On Corpus Christi, we had fourteen Communion Ministers who were newly installed. And today we have about fifty of them who have been serving constantly for a while and now they are re-commissioned for the next three years. So today we ask the Lord, we ask the Lord to continue to bless them, to continue bringing healing to peoples lives whenever they bring Jesus to them.
And you and I, dear friends, continue to participate in the same mission that God has entrusted to us, each one of us are called to respond differently. Some of you are catechists, some of you are engaged in mission work, some of you are engaged in many many different ways. But we need to remember that we need to allow people to be participants in this mission that God has entrusted to us because this whole theme of Synodality that we have taken, of Communion, of allowing people to be in communion together and allowing them to Participate in every areas of our lives, every areas of our community and to allow them to be led into Mission, that is our parent call.
So let us pray, dear friends, that we may continue to embrace that mission that God has entrusted to us, that mission to become Kingdom proclaimers, the mission to become Healers towards one another even though we may be broken in our own ways but we are called to be people who are able to bring light towards others. Even though we are wounded, we are called also to heal one another.
Let us pray, dear friends, for the grace to allow ourselves to be given this privilege to share the Good News to the people around us.
Click below to listen to the homily and watch the video:-