Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24
Today the Gospel of Mark reveals the early invitation to evangelization, as Jesus sends out his Twelve.
I’m always a little amazed at how quickly Jesus has people began doing his work. As a task oriented culture many of us would ask, "How, Lord, do you expect us to expel demons, or work these many cures?" Jesus does not seem to be concerned with "how" this is done as much as the "whats" that are involved. " What you are to take with you; what you are to leave behind; what to do if you are not received. The how questions are all resolved because he has given the Twelve authority (over the unclean spirits).
I just returned from a retreat for high school seniors. I have never experienced reconciliation and healing to the degree I saw this week. I was astonished at the number of people who had grudges against others, or who had judged others and would go up to the person who they had the grudge or the judgment against, confess their grudge or judgment, acknowledged a wedge had pushed them apart and a wall had separated them. Instantly, walls turned into hugs and tears flowed—rivers of healing water. This behavior was manifested in individual one-on-one sessions, small group sessions, and large group sessions as well. No one asked them to do this, nor did they ask "How should I do this?" They claimed the authority and took the initiative. The "hows" were never a question because the "whats" were first dealt with. And the rules around "what" included leaving behind the ipods, and the masks so frequently hidden behind.
In doing so they had a real encounter with Christ. It was not, as the letter to the Hebrews would say, on an untouchable mountain, a blazing fire, or gloomy darkness. Rather, it was to Jesus, mediator of a new covenant, whose blood speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.
Fr. David Colhour, C.P. is on the staff at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.