Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time




Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 326

1st Reading – 1 KGS 2:1-4, 10-12

When the time of David’s death drew near,
he gave these instructions to his son Solomon:
“I am going the way of all flesh.
Take courage and be a man.
Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways
and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees
as they are written in the law of Moses,
that you may succeed in whatever you do,
wherever you turn, and the LORD may fulfill
the promise he made on my behalf when he said,
‘If your sons so conduct themselves
that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart
and with their whole soul,
you shall always have someone of your line
on the throne of Israel.'”

David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.
The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years:
he reigned seven years in Hebron
and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

Solomon was seated on the throne of his father David,
with his sovereignty firmly established.

Responsorial Psalm – 1 CHRONICLES 29:10, 11AB, 11D-12A, 12BCD

R. (12b) Lord, you are exalted over all.
“Blessed may you be, O LORD,
God of Israel our father,
from eternity to eternity.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.
“Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power,
majesty, splendor, and glory.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.
“LORD, you are exalted over all.
Yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty;
you are exalted as head over all.
Riches and honor are from you.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.
“In your hand are power and might;
it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.

Alleluia – MK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

A Three-Step Process

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. Mark 6:7

The first thing that is worth pointing out in this passage is that Jesus “summoned” the Twelve. This means He brought them to Himself. Sure, we can read this as simply meaning that He, in a sense, called a meeting with them. But we should look deeper. We should see in this summoning the fact that Jesus was not only calling a meeting, but rather, He was drawing them to His very person. In this act of summoning, the Apostles were personally encountering Jesus, receiving His grace and power, and being changed themselves.

From there He sent them out two by two. This is also significant. Jesus knows our human weakness. He knows that by ourselves we will most likely fail, but with the Christian support of another we are greatly strengthened. This is because Jesus’ mission is not only something we do ourselves, it’s something that is communal as well. We are each one piece in His mission. However, to fulfill that mission, we need the love and support of others. We need to go two by two into the battle.

So what about this authority that Jesus gave them? It’s often not appreciated for what it is. Jesus very much does want to give us authority over the evil one and his dominions since they are far more powerful than us. So, if we are to have a chance in the battle, we need Jesus’ authority. This is not only some supernatural power to cast out demons; rather, it’s much more extensive. So what is this authority and how do we exercise it?

First, it’s the power of true Christian charity. Charity, or love, overwhelms the evil one and renders him powerless in our lives. Selflessness, sacrifice, humility, faith, truth, etc., are among the most powerful weapons in our battle. The evil one does not know what to do with these. We do not necessarily have to engage in some sort of dramatic spiritual warfare to do battle. Simply love God and live that love in your daily life and you will, in a sense, be casting out demons left and right! We will have the victory in our Christian living because God will take care of all the rest. It’s His mission and He is the one summoning and sending us. So do not be afraid to follow His lead!

Reflect, today, upon this three step process that Jesus initiates with His Apostles and know that He desires the same with you:

  1. He summons you, daily, to Himself;
  2. He sends you forth to bring His love to others;
  3. He gives you the authority and power you need to fulfill His will. Be open to this process and our Lord will use you abundantly.

Lord, give me the love, courage and strength I need to live out Your divine plan. I hear You summoning me and I choose to respond with generosity. I willingly accept the authority of that grace into my life so that You can accomplish all that You desire. Jesus, I trust in You!

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