Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Have you ever felt called to do something? Perhaps it was the moment you realized you were called to a life vocation—marriage, priesthood, or consecrated life, for example—or when you recognized a call to a particular career. Maybe it was a time when you felt called to a certain kind of service or ministry, or to care for the needs of a family member or good friend. The truth is, we are all chosen as Christ’s people, called to share in Christ’s mission of love, to “exist for the praise of his glory,” as we hear in the Letter to the Ephesians today. In today’s first reading, Amos tells how he was called from the life of the shepherd to that of the prophet; in the Gospel we hear how the disciples were called out to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Called to Mission
As baptized Christians, each of us is called to mission. When Catholics hear the word “mission,” most usually think of those who go to foreign countries to serve and share their faith. Some might also think of a parish mission, a time of focused reflection, usually led by a visiting speaker. Remember the often-quoted line from Mission Impossible, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it”? Sometimes we use the word mission to describe our purpose or goal, what we have been charged to do. Thinking of mission in this way makes our call as Christians clearer. Our mission is to live as Christian people, to share our faith, to be people of service, and to show Christ’s love to others in the ways that we live our daily lives. The choice to live as people of mission is ours. How do you, or will you, live as a person of mission?
Notice that the disciples in today’s Gospel were sent out two by two. This was not only a practical thing for Jesus to do as he sent the disciples out to preach, teach, and heal. It was also very spiritual, for being sent on mission together with another engenders mutual support. We live and grow in faith in deeper and more lasting ways when we are in community with others. Not only is our relationship with Jesus personal, it is also communal—we are drawn into communion with Christ, through and with the community of faith. Being part of a community offers us the strength and perspective found in relationship with others. We find support, encouragement, and consolation in trying times; we more readily challenge one another to live the gospel call to follow Jesus with our lives. What is your mission? With whom are you called?
Today’s Readings: Am 7:12–15; Ps 85:9–10, 11–12, 13–14; Eph 1:3–14 [3–10]; Mk 6:7–13