Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeReadings of the DayRB: Ch 36 Care of the SickMass: Am 7:12-15; Resp Ps 85; Ep 1:3-14; Mk 6:7-13
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.
Just think how much more ground the Twelve could have covered had Jesus sent them out one by one? For some reason, I don't think that was the point. My thoughts go to the selection process Jesus used when deciding who would travel with whom. Did the Master put like-minded people together or did he pair off opposites, for example, a gregarious Apostle with one more demure in character, a detail-oriented man with one not so detailed, one physically fit with one more physically limited? Much is left to our imagination. I think about times when I've been asked to work, travel, or meet with someone who processes things, does things, and communicates in ways exactly opposite to 'my' way of going about things. Sr Eileen of happy memory comes to mind. Sr Eileen was my first novice director. We couldn't have been more different. Without going into details, I was often frustrated and no doubt so was Sr Eileen. I had my way of doing things and why couldn't Sr Eileen do things the same way? Now I know that Sr Eileen was just the kind of person I needed, and still need. I like to think that Jesus made his 'two by twos' exact opposites as well. Just as I need to, the Apostles needed to adapt to one another's character and needs, or as St Benedict puts it, 'support with the greatest patience one another's weaknesses of body or behavior' (RB 72:5). It is through encountering others who are different that we learn to grow in compassion, patience, mercy and love. Although it's comfortable to be with those with similar character traits, it is the different ones who reveal a person's rough edges and needed areas for growth. Jesus asks us: 'For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?' (Lk 6:32-33). After all, 'even sinners do the same' (Lk 6:34). Thank you, Sr Eileen, for your guidance and love. Rest in peace.Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.