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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Thursday 4th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Heb 12:18-19.21-24): Brothers and sisters: You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, «I am terrified and trembling».

No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.
Responsorial Psalm: 47
R/. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.
Great is the Lord and wholly to be praised in the city of our God. His holy mountain, fairest of heights, is the joy of all the earth.

Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North”, the city of the great King. God is with her castles; renowned is he as a stronghold.

As we had heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; God makes it firm forever.

O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple. As your name, o God, so also your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Of justice your right hand is full.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Mk 1:15): Alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 6,7-13): Jesus called the Twelve to him and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over evil spirits. And He ordered them to take nothing for the journey except a staff; no food, no bag, no money in their belts. They were to wear sandals and were not to take an extra tunic. And he added, «In whatever house you are welcomed, stay there until you leave the place. If any place doesn't receive you and the people refuse to listen to you, leave after shaking the dust off your feet. It will be a testimony against them». So they set out to proclaim that this was the time to repent. They drove out many demons and healed many sick peo­ple by anointing them.

«Jesus called the Twelve to him and began to send them out two by two (…). They set out to proclaim that this was the time to repent»

+ Fr. Josep VALL i Mundó
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel refers to the Apostles' first apostolic mission. Jesus Christ sends the Twelve to preach, to heal the sick and to prepare the ways of our definite salvation. This is the mission of the Church, and our mission, too. The II Vatican Council asserted, «Christian vocation is by its very nature a vocation to the apostolate. No baptized person can remain idle! Therefore, he who would not strive to achieve a human body and spiritual growth, would be as useless for the Church as he would be for himself».

Gustave Thibon used to say that our world needs a “soul's supplement” to regenerate itself. Christ's doctrine is the only medicine that can cure all illnesses of the world. The world is in crisis. But, it is not just a partial decay of moral or human values: it is a crisis of everything. And the most precise term to define it would be a “crisis of soul”.

With the grace and doctrine of Jesus we Christians find ourselves in the midst of the temporal structures of humans so that we can instill life in them and guide them towards our Creator: «That the world, through the predication of the Church, by listening, it can believe, by believing, it can wait, and by waiting, it can love» (Saint Augustine). We Christians cannot elude this world. As Bernanos wrote: «We have been thrown in the middle of the dough, in the middle of the multitude, as yeast; we shall conquer again, inch by inch, the Universe that sin snatched away from us. O Lord, we shall return it to you as we received it in the morning of the world, with all its order and all its sanctity».

The secret lies in loving the world with all our soul and in living with love the mission Jesus Christ gave the Apostles, and all of us. With words from Saint Josemaria, we can affirm «The apostolate is a love for God that is brimming with joy, with dedication to others (...). And our eagerness to spread our apostolate is the exact, adequate and necessary manifestation of our interior life». This has to be our daily testimony amidst men and throughout all ages.