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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mt 10,16-23): Jesus said to his disciples, «Look, I send you out like sheep among wolves. You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves (…). You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of me, and so you may witness to them and the pagans (…). Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved (…)».

The apostle

+ Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus announces to His disciples what they are bound to suffer as a consequence of being selected as apostles. What He said is not very encouraging: judgments, lashings, hate from their relatives, prosecutions, death… The apostles’ attitude: shrewdness and innocence. Their task: to go round the world focusing on bearing witness to Jesus, speaking through the inspired speech of the Holy Spirit… fleeing when needed. But, most important: persevering to the end.

"Apostle" is a Greek word meaning "one who is sent forth as a messenger"; sent forth by Jesus to proclaim His message. Twelve of them have been chosen by Jesus. To keep the Gospel integral, the apostolic preaching is being preserved from the beginning to the end of time, through an uninterrupted sequence. This living transmission is called "tradition": apostolic preaching continuing in apostolic succession. Tradition and Scripture are our two great sources of faith.

—O Lord, thanks to the apostles who have made possible for the faith to reach us, and to You, because you are sending us as part of this apostolic “chain“ the Gospel announces.