Gospel Reflections (Mark 6:7-13)

The instructions for missionaries are shaped by the urgency of the Kingdom. The Twelve are to travel light for speed. They should wear sandals rather than go barefoot, also for speed and security. They are to rely for their provisions on the welcome they receive and, if they are unwelcome, they should not waste time on those who reject them. Did Jesus think that the Kingdom or Kingship of God would finally burst on the world in his own time, that there was so little time to spare? In one way it did – at his death and Resurrection, which fulfilled God’s plan and restored us to friendship with God. In another way the Kingdom is still in the future: the reign of peace and justice is not yet established. There is still sorrow, distress, enmity, fraud, jealousy and plenty of other evils which fracture God’s Kingship. We are still imperfect reflections of the light of Christ, still pilgrim members of a pilgrim Church. Our efforts are often feeble, even when we try to walk in Christ’s footsteps. We cannot sit back complacently, any more than the missionaries of Jesus’ own time. The task of establishing the Kingdom is still imminent.
How can we missionaries best bring Christ’s light and God’s joy to the world?

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