Jesus sent them out two by two to preach repentance and to drive out demons and to cure the sick. From the beginning we have always been an evangelizing Church. We forget to go out because we are happy to be in, especially in the South Texas heat—a nice cool air-conditioned building feels good.
Meanwhile, there are more people outside who do not know Christ, than there are inside. Do we suppose that the mandate to go out has expired? Would Jesus commission any of us like He did the first disciples? Going out and knocking on doors is more for the Jehovah Witnesses. Stopping folks in the parking lots is what the Jare Krishnas do. Of all the ministries that we try to implement, reaching out to those who do not come to Church is the weakest. No one is interested. Walking the neighborhoods, making phone calls, writing letters is hard work. Reach out ministry is behind the scene—no glory—no applause—no one notices—only the people who are touched by the Gospel. The need is probably more crucial now than when the original bunch went out. There are more demons in disguise now. Consider the children who are left home alone. We read about the ones left in locked cars while the parents are shopping—windows rolled up and the car turned off. However, there are countless that do not make the headlines—who suffer because of neglect. Families have long been deteriorating. Supper Power Country that we are and we can’t keep our families together! Devils in disguise. No longer do we have to pay admission to see X rated movies. They can be seen at home on a variety of apparatuses. At least in the old days the demons manifested themselves. People were afraid. Now a days we are on speaking terms—almost friendly terms with the enemies of Christ.
Come to be accepted. We make excuses by saying, “Everybody’s doing it.” “It’s the fashion.” “Why not join the crowd, we all want to blend in.” Since there are so many teenage girls who are pregnant, because condoms are readily available, given the numbers of couples who choose to live together without being married—we just turn the other way. The problems seem unbearable.
However, that’s not the mandate of the Gospel. Keep in mind that the disciples could take no money, no food, no change of clothes—just a stick and the sandals on their feet. But they had their Faith! Obviously their Faith was enough otherwise we wouldn’t be here.
The original group did not shy away from the responsibility entrusted to them. They shared their Faith, most of them at the expense of loosing their life—yet by dying they are now truly alive. As the Bible says, they touched others in the name of Christ. We have put up alarm systems, wash our hands with anti-bacterial soap, keep our distance as soon as someone sneezes. Fear dominates our life. How can we serve as instruments of healing when are afraid to touch each other? How can the Lord use us if we are unwilling to speak the truth? Nobody wants to make waves. “Live and let live.” Sort of a passive attitude has become prevalent, especially in parents who have lost communication with their children. Little wonder, if they never take the time to just sit and talk. Texting your children about serious matters is unacceptable. Face them—make time for them—guide them. In about 50 years the adults present will be dead. Will the upcoming generation be ready to take over? Will they be ready to preach the Gospel? If they are not, we can blame no one but ourselves. They are watching. Example is the best way to teach. Starts at home, simple stuff. Being patient with each other; picking up after each other; anticipating one another’s needs. That’s how we drive out the demons who are waiting to cause division.
Much work lies ahead. The Lord sends us out to share the Faith that He has given. Be not afraid. Jesus gives us what we need to be His disciples.