Jesus sends the twelve as sheep among the wolves

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 10: 16-23), like the last couple of days, Jesus is instructing the disciples for their missionary work.

Fr Paul says when we hear these instructions we need to be aware of 3 levels:

The first level is that Jesus is simply instructing his disciples about their mission – things to watch out for, things to take note of, things to do when you encounter certain circumstances.

The second level we need to be aware of is of the early church interpreting their experience of being church in the light of Jesus’ sayings.

The third level is us (the modern disciples), the people who are trying to continue to fulfil the same mission Jesus gave his disciples. Like the disciples, as Jesus is indicating, we too are experiencing the same difficulties and trials, the same as the early church, the same as the disciples themselves.

A point that can be made is that the church, from the time of Christ onwards, has never been free from persecution, trials or suffering. What Jesus is saying in these instructions is that whoever endures these trials and tribulations will be saved, in other words, those who remain faithful.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul asks that we turn our minds and hearts in prayer and pray that we may persevere, particularly in the face of a world that is, and has always been, hostile towards us and what we proclaim. Today, we pray today for perseverance in our faith.