Fr Joe has written this short reflection on today’s Gospel.
Jesus again is very specific in his final instructions, as he sends out the 12 Apostles on their mission. They have to minister to others just as they have witnessed Jesus do. There is no need for new initiatives. Jesus has already shown the arrival of the kingdom of heaven through curing the sick, cleansing lepers, raising the dead, casting out devils. Jesus is already fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah, as the promised Messiah and the Apostles should not add or subtract from what Jesus has already proclaimed in his actions and words.
The Apostles are to act without delay. They are not to be distracted by things that are not essential and to rely on God’s direct providence and indirect providence, who inspires the people to look after His ministers. We have to note when it comes to God’s providence, we do not try to manipulate God or force Him to do something exceptional. We also need to be practical and not to play games with God.
God’s blessings and graces are conditional. They are given freely to those who respond by welcoming the Apostles His ministers and their willingness to listen to God’s word proclaimed through His chosen ministers. Those who reject the Apostles, reject Jesus who sent them. The message belongs to Jesus and those who reject the message reject also the sender Jesus.
When Palestinian Jews returned from gentile or pagan territory before re-entering the Holy Land of Israel, they would shake the dust from their sandals. It was a derogatory statement, stating that they did not wish anything to cling from the pagan world to them and also to pollute their Holy Land. Jesus uses this image to signify judgement on those who reject the Gospel. To reject the Gospel, one is not free from blame and God will ultimately judge us for rejecting His offer of grace and life.