Thursday, February 5 ~ Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Holy Gospel: Mark 6:7-13 Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Meditation: Jesus gave his apostles both the power and the authority to speak and to act in his name. He commanded them to do the works which he did – to heal, to cast out evil spirits, and to speak the word of God – the Good News of the gospel which they received from Jesus. When Jesus spoke of power and authority he did something unheard of. He wedded power and authority with love and humility. The “world” and the “flesh” seek power for selfish gain. Jesus teaches us to use it for the good of our neighbor.
Prayer: May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray, for she found favor with you by the courage of her martyrdom and the merit of her chastity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: This traveling light provision which Jesus shared with his Apostles has solid purpose. This “poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. He wills to work through and in each of us for his glory. The Lord entrusts each of us with his gifts and talents. Are you eager to place yourself at his service, to do whatever he asks you, and to live in witness his truth – the only truth – and saving power to whomever and whatever situation he sends you?