Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...


seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – Mark 6:7-13
1. Jesus gave the disciples a share in his mission by sending them out ahead of him. It was a gesture of trust and confidence on his part, even though they did not fully understand his mission. Have you ever been surprised by the trust shown in you by others to speak or act on their behalf?
2. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. Perhaps your experience gives you examples of the value of having another with you when engaged in an important task.
3. The apparently strange instructions given by Jesus were intended to counteract practices by bogus preachers who used preaching as a mask for money-making. The disciples of Jesus focus on the mission and not on their own comforts. Is it your experience that vested interests can impede a task, whereas having the right motives makes your mission more effective?
4. The task of the disciples was to call people to repent (metanoia, meaning conversion, changing the way we look at God and at other people). Who have been the disciples, the people in your life who have called you to be more trusting in God? To whom have you given this call? 
– John Byrne, OSA

‘I thank God that many families, which are far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfil their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way. The Synod’s reflections show us that there is no stereotype of the ideal family, but rather a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems.’ 
– Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad)

The Deep End
Being a follower of Jesus means to be ‘sent out’. Our spiritual lives ought to be visible on the outside through our actions and dealings with others. The disciples are sent in twos for companionship but also as a team; one person cannot have all the gifts and there is support in working with another.
We might interpret the many demons that they cast out as all those things in the world that are not of the Spirit, the injustices in our world. Jesus sends the disciples out to work for a better world, to bring more love, compassion and peace to those that they encounter. They go and urge people to repent, to turn around. This is one of the goals of their mission and Jesus’ mission: to turn the world around.
Jesus’ instructions to shake the dust from their feet when they feel unwelcome may seem harsh at first. We too may fear rejection and when we experience it, it can leave us feeling exhausted and upset. Perhaps the message here is to free ourselves and move on; to not let that disappointment and upset control our lives because if we do, we lose our freedom, it holds us back and it starts to define us. In the midst of that experience, our true mission can become lost. As we prepare to welcome Pope Francis to Ireland, let us go out and bring joy and hope to those we encounter.
‘You might be the only gospel which people read.’ 
– Jane Mellett, Pastoral Worker, Dublin Diocese

(from Intercom)


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Today’s Mass Readings
The Great and the Small
Did you know that the great English architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott designed both Liverpool Cathedral and the street telephone kiosk? One might think them to be two extremes. This truth however teaches us other truths.
A person of great ability must never despise small things. This is surely the attitude of mind that Christ had. He was both Carpenter and Saviour. He, who saved mankind, also hammered into shape yokes for oxen. To be faithful in small things is surely a qualification for great things.
Both Cathedral and Kiosk are places of Communication...
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