Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

In tomorrow’s Gospel Jesus is sending out the Apostles, two by two to bring the Gospel message. Our own living in harmony with one another gives greater impact to the message and makes us credible witnesses to those who are thirsting for faith.

This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:

“. . . to send them out two by two . . .”

Why two by two? If Jesus had sent the Twelve out individually, they could have gone to more places and encountered more people.

Going out two by two allows for mutual support and the opportunity not only to preach the Good News, but also to witness to it by the way they treat each other. They can support each other in the sense that they can decide together what to do in unforeseen circumstances. They can remind each other of Jesus’ instructions and care for each other in case of injury or sickness. Being together gives them greater protection from danger during travel.

Forming a small community of two also gives the apostles an opportunity to witness to the mutual love that Jesus expects of them. We can profit from their example in our lives, too. It might seem more expedient to do something alone, but collaboration, joint efforts, and group projects often offer invaluable benefits.

Yes, a mother can make cookies faster by herself than when her four-year-old is “helping” her. But what would be lost? The child enjoys benefits ranging from development of motor skills and a love of cooking, to a confidence in being loved and valued. The mother receives helpful practice in patience and the happiness of seeing her child find joy. Both of them experience the bond of growing love.

Yes, a pastor of a parish can more quickly plan an event by deciding everything himself than by discussing it with a team of parishioners. But if he involves others, he gains an opportunity for greater participation, with people doing what they do best. He gains greater insight, inspiration, and richness, and a growth in the communion and mutual appreciation in the parish.

If you have enjoyed this meditation, you’ll find meditations on all the Gospels of  Ordinary Time in: Ordinary Grace Weeks 1-17.

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