Having Real Power
What an incredible gift and charge Jesus gives the Apostles that we hear in today’s Gospel. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” These powers also come with a great responsibility. Jesus recognizes the need for his message to be spread. All people are in great need of it, and it is out of total love for all that He calls the Apostles to perform these tasks. If we were to continue reading this scripture, we would learn that the Apostles were successful in their mission. They were able to perform incredible miracles and spread the Gospel of Christ through their own faith and love for Jesus.
People today are still in great need to hear the Gospel and feel the incredible healing powers of our Lord. Although we have our Bishops, the original Apostles obviously are no longer with us, and the mission was never meant for only them. It was meant for all the faithful. We are all called to the spread the healing message of love of Jesus. You may be thinking, “How can I heal people or drive out demons?” I am telling you if you have faith and love for Christ, you have this power. We can feed the poor and drive out the sickness of hunger. We can use our gift and ability to forgive to resurrect a long dead relationship. We can proclaim the forgiving power of Christ and encourage the use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to cure the leprosy of sin. We can drive out the demons of loneliness and despair by spending time with the isolated or homebound.
We all have great power given to us by Jesus. It would be wrong not to use the gifts that we were given. In fact, as the priest or deacon dismisses you today at the end of Mass, listen to the words or charge he gives. It is through their ordination that they represent Christ. So, when they give you the words of dismissal, it is Christ who is really giving you this directive. The actual words may be different, but the goal is the same. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Our answer to this is charge is a resounding, “Thanks be to God!”, which should lift the roof off the Church every time.
May Jesus live in our hearts forever.