Gospel Mk 6:7-13
“Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs”
I recently had an opportunity to watch the Bill Murray film ‘St Vincent’. The heart-warming film had some interesting themes and some of the classic comedy that we’ve come to associate with the actor/comedian/filmmaker Bill Murray.
One scene in the film depicts a Catholic priest teaching a class of 6th graders, explaining to them that Catholicism is “the best religion…because we have the most rules.”
The line, obviously written and delivered with comedic intent couldn’t be further from the truth we read in today’s Gospel reading.
Rather than equipping his apostles with a load of rules to take with them to teach those that they come into contact with, Christ instructed his apostles to simply preach repentance and to cure those that need it.
Often we tend to reduce the faith to mere moralism – a list of actions and habits that are prohibited. This however is far from the truth of the matter.
Jesus instructed his apostles to go out and preach repentance not so the people who heard him would be unhappy – but because those people, like all of us have things in our life that we need to repent of so that we can be open to the love with which God himself wants to bring us into.
The call to repentance is so often accompanied with negative connotations, but it is really a call to put aside those things in our life which hinder our eternal fulfilment: union with God.
Repentance frees us, such that we are able to enter into the Divine life itself, engaging in the eternal exchange of love which is the Blessed Trinity.
What are those things in my life which prevent me from being open to the love of God?
It is common practice to spend some time each evening in prayer, examining one’s conscience and seeking the Lord’s forgiveness for the times throughout the day when we have not been open to his love.
Perhaps this is a practice that you could adopt in your own life, in your family, with your housemates?