Thursday of the 4th Week of the Year

Mk 6:7-13

The Mission of the Twelve


Missionaries today fly planes and drive cars. They have more than a staff and sandals. They use modern facilities and means to communicate, like radio, TV, Internet. Most of them are not alone, but backed up by a missionary Congregation and its resources.

Of course, if Christ would send out his apostles today, he would give them different guidelines. But one guideline would not change: to trust in God more than in oneself and in an organization. A missionary then and now must remain aware that he does not proclaim himself that the result of his efforts does not depend on him/her but on God only.

Speaking about missionaries – I am not thinking only about missionaries sent by their Religious Congregation to evangelize. I think of all baptized Christians who “by virtue of baptism” are missionaries, as the Church teaches.

We are reminded today that all of us are sent by God for a mission. The mission field can be your home where a husband, a son or a daughter needs to be brought to Christ. Your mission area could be your office where a boss or officemates live as if Christian values were reserved for Sunday only. Your neighborhood could be your mission field where you are sent to bring peace and harmony to people to distrust each other, quarrel and hate their neighbors. For our mission we need only the staff of trust in God and the sandals of love. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD 2002)


Our gospel text for today gives us the classic picture of a missionary who carries “nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money.” This romanticized picture nonetheless shows us the spirit of mission, which is one of witness – the essence of having abandoned everything in order to be a living embodiment of Christ and what he has lived for. In truth, everyone of us is called to the missionary vocation, whether we stay at home or at are sent to the so-called “mission areas abroad.” The Christian is by nature and grace called to be a missionary wherever he/she maybe. In the rigors of our daily life our vocation remains the same as that of Christ; we continue the work assigned to Him by the Father and we help lead humanity toward “a new heaven and a new earth,” none other than God’s Kingdom. To do this we are not called to perform great things. The little chores of everyday, it we attend to them faithfully and dutifully, will result in small miracles that will transform our life and that of others. As John the Baptist used to say, “The Kingdom of God is at hand; it is here!”

And so we find in today’s first reading, the end of the mission of one man who need not have to travel the air and seas in order to fulfill his vocation. David, the same boy who killed the giant Goliath, now dies as a king. It is enough that he is faithful. (Fr. Romy Abulad, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Having worked in Chile, South America for fifteen years as Divine Word Missionary I can relate well with today’s gospel when Jesus sends His 12 disciples to proclaim God’s kingdom. Obviously, being sent to a foreign country was a privilege but at the same time a big responsibility. I would suppose that the disciples of the Lord felt the same.

One of the interesting things that I experienced in Chile is the so-called “mission camp.” It is a form of a summer camp but the main work is to share the good news of Jesus to brothers and sisters usually living far away. It is organized by different parishes and schools. The volunteer missionaries, youth and adult alike, would spend some time in a usually remote community which is hardly attended to regularly by the parish due to its distance, difficult access because of bad roads and weather condition, for Chile has a relatively long winter. These people have to sacrifice part of their summer vacation, leaving the comforts of their homes, the glitter of the city, and company of their loved ones, home-cooked meals, etc. just to be with other people living far away and share with them their time, their faith and their lives.

As Jesus continues to send disciples today, I do believe that these may missionaries of Chile and also in many parts of the world are also being sent by Him to share the good news of God’s love. Moreover, as the Second Vatican Council has clearly expressed that all baptized, by virtue of their baptism, are missionaries of the Lord, you and I then are also called to be His missionaries. Let us now examine ourselves how much we have grown in our missionary consciousness and identity. Have we at least taken then opportunity to work for and help the missions, for instance, on Mission Sunday? (Fr. Ernesto Salvar, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


February 4, 2016 Thursday

The gospel reports the mission of the apostles to the towns of Israel. For some time the apostles had been accompanying Jesus, who went through villages and towns to preach the good news of the kingdom of God and to cure the sick. Now the apostles themselves were sent by Jesus to preach repentance and the way of salvation. Since they did not go out to practice any trade or commerce, they were not to burden themselves with many belongings. Thus they would all the more be free to preach the good news.

Jesus considered the possibility that the apostles would not be accepted with benevolence everywhere they went. There are people who do not want to hear of an honest life, of repentance, of renunciation of unjust pro t, or of service of God. They do not want to be disturbed in their tranquil life, even if it is decayed tranquillity and hallow peace. They refuse the offer of salvation.

In the midst of this situation, the apostles, nevertheless, were called to persevere in proclaiming the word of God. They should turn elsewhere, to people willing to welcome them because the message of the kingdom cannot be silenced. Repentance is part of that message. But the other part is the cure of the sick and the liberation from unclean spirits. Healed in their bodies, but much more so in their hearts, people will be free to accept God’s invitation to be His children and live as His children. It is clear from the instruction of Jesus: people must be willing to accept his messengers and the good news they preach in his name. Where the word of God is accepted in the hearts of believers, there God descends with his grace and there his peace will dwell. (Karl Peschke, SVD | Vienna, Austria Bible Diary 2016)



Marcos 6:7-13. Nganong gidid-an man ni Jesus ang mga tinun-an sa pagdala’g daghang butang sa ilang pagsangyaw sa Maayong Balita? Una sa tanan, gusto ni Jesus nga ang magsasangyaw adto mosalig sa panabang sa Dios, dili sa mga butang kalibotanon. Ug ikaduha, buot ni Jesus nga ang mga tinun-an dili madisturbo sa daghang mga butang diha sa ilang pagbuhat sa ilang misyon. Kining ebanghelyo bililhon kaayo nga giya para kanato karon nga buot mopuyo sa Kristohanong kinabuhi. Dili kita angay’ng magpadani sa mga materyal nga butang tungod kay kini dili maghatag kanato’g kasiguroan sa tinuod nga kalipay. Gani, sa daghang higayon ang mga butang kalibotanon mao pay makababag kanato sa pagtuman sa atong buluhaton nga espirituhanon ug diosnon (Fr. Abet Uy


THURSDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MARCOS 6:7-13. Kinahanglan ba nga kita edukado ug adunahan aron mahimong magsasangyaw sa gugma sa Dios? Kon ang ebanghelyo maoy atong pangutan-on, ang tubag “dili”. Una sa tanan, ang unang magsasangyaw nga gipili ni Kristo mga tawong simple ug ordinaryo, igo lang ang kahibalo ug walay ikapanghambog nga bahandi. Apan, gihatagan sila ni Hesus og gahom sa pagbuhat sa iyang buluhaton – paghingilin sa mga yawa, pag-ayo sa mga masakiton, ug pagsangyaw sa Pulong sa Dios. Ang gahom nga nagagikan kang Hesus mao lamang ang saligan sa mga tinun-an, dili ang ilang kahibalo ug ang ilang mga butang. Nindot kini nga pahimangno para kanatong mga binunyagan diha ni Kristo. Ang atong kawad-on ug kakabos dili rason nga modumili kita sa pagsangyaw sa gugma sa Dios ngadto sa isigkatawo.   Posted by Abet Uy


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

THURSDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 6:7-13. NGANONG GIDID-AN MAN NI HESUS ANG MGA TINUN-AN SA PAGDALA’G DAGHANG BUTANG SA ILANG PAGSANGYAW SA MAAYONG BALITA? Dili ikalilong nga ang mga materyal nga butang makatabang sa atong kinabuhi. Apan nasayod usab kita nga ang mga butang ning kalibotan makababag sa atong mga buluhaton para sa Dios ug sa isigkaingon. Daghan kanato dili na mag-ampo tungod kay sigi’g tan-aw sa salida sa TV; daghan dili na mag-estoryahanay tungod kay sigi’g tuslok-tuslok sa cellphone. Ang uban mabuta sa bahandi ug mahimong mapahitas-on. Nasayod usab kita nga ang kabtangan usahay maoy hinungdan sa panag-away sa managsoon ug managhigala. Adunay nag-ingon: “If material things are what you’re talking about when you say ‘I’m blessed’, you have no idea what a blessing is.” Posted by Abet Uy


My Reflection: What was in the minds of the twelve apostles when they were sent to their mission by Jesus without bringing any provision? Perhaps they were worried and questions arose like, what are we going to eat, Will we be able to survive this daunting mission? But eventually their questioning minds were overwhelmed by their faith and trust in Jesus. And so they forged on and they became successful missioners of Jesus.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how God would sustain us or how we could survive the difficulties of life. Until we learn to hold-on to our faith and give our full trust and faith to the almighty hand of Jesus. Many of us fail in our many endeavors because we don’t have faith and trust in Jesus. Instead of trusting God we tend to trust on ourselves more than God. So we fail and the main culprit is our feeble faith.

Trust and faith were the two main ingredients that made the twelve apostles successful in their mission. Trust and faith in Jesus must also be our guiding light as we move on to do our mission for Christ. Or as we move on to live our life for Jesus. Let us not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the challenges that may confront us. Let us take the first few steps with trust and faith in Jesus.

What have we done so far to the faith that God has given us? Have we already shared it? (Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas )


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Reflection for February 4, Thursday of the Fourth Week; Mark 6:7-13

Reflection: There is a story about a newly ordained priest he was so idealistic that he wished to be assigned in the farthest and un-evangelized place. He got what he wished for, during the time that he was about to go there. He brought nothing with him except for the clothes and his priestly things.

He said to himself: “I will not bring anything with me because Jesus had said that in going to your mission do not bring anything with you (Mark 6:8). He believed that God would provide for his needs. He eventually reached his place of assignment and his parishioners were sensitive enough to notice his needs so they provided him with what he needed.

Jesus demanded trust from the apostles. He wanted them to trust him as they go about their mission for He would provide for their needs. Jesus said to them: “Bring nothing with you except your walking stick and sandal (Mark 6:8-9). Jesus wanted them to depend on Him and not on themselves.

Due to the modernity of our time trust or faith in God is a word that is somewhat not relevant anymore. Because we tend to trust more on ourselves rather than God. We long for our smart phones rather than long for God. There are even those who don’t believe in the existence of God anymore (atheist).

Their God is their knowledge, their power and their wealth. But truth be told, everything in this world will come to pass us by. But God? He will not cease to exist for us, he will be there for us even beyond this temporary life.

Do you still trust Jesus or you trust more yourself and the things that you have? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


6Cs stands for Cash, Car, Condominium, Credit Card, Career, & Country Club Membership

Cash – everybody has, more or less. If you have credit cards, NETS, cashcards, GIRO, credit cards, etc – you need pretty little cash.

Car – With MRT and an efficient transport system, the hype about a green environment, some executives are even giving up cars. So – what is the big deal about this C? Have mateiral benefits and lose your soul and beliefs? (be rich and kill the environment?)

Credit card – We have atm cards with mastercard and debit cards; we have nets and cashcard. And almost 1 in 3 or 4 person has got a credit card anyway: not that it is so difficult to have one. It does appear that this is one of the good-to-haves but why bother?

Condominium – well, this C here is bit tricky. But with so many housing around, condominium seems to be more an investment apparatus rather than a home. And gee – every Singaporean has got some sort of shares, or other – even if they may be issued by the Government. So – why must invest in condominium? I hear that some big guys are even comfortable with HDB flats, instead of private housing. Talking about condominiums, why not semi-detached houses or bungalows? Talking about investments, why not insurance, education?

Country club memberships – go to one of those community centres, and have a 3- year membership for $12; well or an NTUC membership – you don’t actually get the high feeling, but aren’t some of their activities similar? you can network with good people; can play billiards, you can play jackpots; you can do workouts….oh come on, why spend tons of money for something you can get cheap? isn’t civilisation judged more by grey matter up here than what you see (beauty or brains?) – and oh yes, less politics with management committees. Well, it could be said that some people use these membership as investment apparatus too.

5 Cs – oh, they sound so much like commercialisation, right? Well, everything is commercialised nowadays, judging from what people do to mundane activities, from birthdays to mother days, Christmas days and weekends and all other sorts of holidays. It is all in the mind, actually.

If we are really thinking of a civilised, rich and friendly society – why not have the 5C’s to be : compassion, care for others, commitment, confidence and co-operative spirit?

In Singapore, we have almost everything – why do we need to have a 3rd world insecurity and define ourselves using materialism? Where are we on the hierarchy of needs?

The question should be, my dear friends – not whether we can attain the 5 C’s (they can represent anything).

The main question we need to ask ourselves may perhaps be: given a first class society, where everyone has equal opportunities, where rewards are determined by merits and people – especially wise ones – make presumably rational and very individual choices, whether spiritually or materially – DO WE LACK ANYTHING? CAN’T WE ACHIEVE/ ATTAIN ANYTHING IF WE PUT OUR HEART AND MIND INTO IT?;_ylt=AwrwNFwcidJUaXMA.G.zRwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTE0OTc2MjgyBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NnMwR2dGlkA1ZJUFBIMDFfMQ–?qid=20100508082918AAI14A1


Why did Jesus send his disciples out in pairs to preach the gospel?

Submit Bible questions, through our easy to use form, to our team of mature Christians known as the Email Evangelists.

Question:  Why did Jesus send his disciples out in pairs (two by two) to preach the gospel?

Answer:  To answer your question, I find just one reason for Christ sending out his disciples two by two as a sort of ‘training exercise’ for preaching the gospel. This reason is that two people provide a valid witness instead of just one person (Matthew 18:20).

7 He called the twelve disciples together and sent them out two by two. He gave them authority over the evil spirits . . . (Mark 6:7)

Note that in Mark 6:7 not only was Christ with them in Spirit, He gave them His Spiritual power to do His work of spreading the gospel!

The disciples were called not only to be Jesus’ companions but also to be his witnesses to all of His teachings, miracles, etc. They were called and chosen to give a first-person testimony about Jesus’ whole ministry.

Jesus’ disciples were sent out by twos so that together they could be witnesses as to whether those who heard them accepted or rejected the gospel. If they went out alone one person’s word without a witness would not be acceptable in the things of God (see 1Corinthians 14:29, 2Corinthians 13:1). The word of one person is not enough to establish the validity of anything!

The apostle Paul told his best friend Timothy to not accept an accusation against an older person (whether in or outside the church) unless there were at least two or three witnesses (1Timothy 5:19). And, Paul makes it plain in the book of Hebrews that it took the words of two or three people to condemn someone to die for rejecting God’s laws (Hebrews 10:28).

No person could be convicted of a crime in the Old Testament by the testimony of just one witness. Two or three witnesses were needed to decide whether a person committed a crime or not. A person’s honest testimony was taken so seriously that if THEY were found to be a false witness (they lied about what they heard and saw) THEY would receive the same punishment as the one they testified against, even if the punishment was death!

Jesus also instructed the disciples he sent out to give the people of a village or town a sign if they refused to hear what they had to say.

11 If you come to a town (this instruction was not for an individual household that might reject the gospel) where people do not welcome you or will not listen to you (they refuse to hear the gospel), leave it and shake the dust off your feet. That will be a warning to them! (Mark 6:11).

The phrase “shake the dust off your feet” is similar in meaning to what the Eternal said to Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19. The shaking of dust from their (the disciples’) feet symbolized that even the earth (the dust on their feet) was a witness against those who would not hear the people God sent to preach his gospel.


‘I LOVE YOU… F.A.D.’ – “Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” – Mark 6:11

You can’t please everybody. Neither can you make everybody believe in what you say or do. Not even if you’re as charismatic and popular as Bo Sanchez. At the Kerygma Conference 2013, Bo talked about a critic who posted online an accusation so unfair that his wife had to reply in his defense. But the guy didn’t believe her and kept up the rant.

Bo’s calm acceptance of the situation is my most valuable takeaway from that conference. He said, “For people who believe, no explanation is necessary. For people who don’t, no explanation is acceptable. I don’t hate the guy. I’ll keep loving him — but from a distance.”

There will always be critics in our lives, people who won’t believe us. As a writer/blogger, I’ve encountered people who nitpick on the negative. One person, who I guess couldn’t find anything else to criticize, even lambasted my grammar, which was funny because he was obviously wrong.

Even the Apostles faced rejection. As the passage above said, the best thing to do about people who reject you is to just walk away. And say, “I love you…F.A.D. (from a distance).” Lella M. Santiago (

Reflection: Are you facing rejection and criticism? You’re in good company. Jesus and His Apostles went through the same thing.

Lord, help me to keep on loving the people who reject and constantly criticize me, even if I have to do it from a distance.



4th Week, Ordinary Time, Thursday, 04-02-16

1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12 / Mark 6:7-13

It is interesting to note that airlines put a weight limit on the passengers’ luggage. For the economy class, it is generally 20kg.

We might think that 20kg is a lot of stuff but if we have to pack our luggage for a trip, then we will know how easy it is to exceed this weight limit.

Jesus also put a weight limit on His disciples’ luggage as they set off for their mission trips.

In fact, other than the clothes that they were wearing and the sandals on their feet, they were only allowed to carry a staff. And that was only to symbolize the authority that was given to them by Jesus.

With such bare minimum, the disciples learned the first lesson of discipleship.

And that is this: God’s grace alone is sufficient. The rest are peripherals. And also the rest will be provided for.

In the 1st reading, David also instructed Solomon on the bare but fundamental minimum as aspects of the kingship.

Primarily it is the obedience to the injunctions of the Lord, and the rest will be provided for by the Lord.

Hence, we may say that obedience to the Lord is the condition for His grace to be active in us.

Although God’s grace is not tangible, it is certainly experienced by us, especially in times of difficulty.

Living the Christian life has its challenges, but where difficulties and challenges arise, God’s grace is always present.

And where a need arises, grace provides.

We don’t need 20kg of power to overcome our challenges and difficulties.

God’s grace is all we need. Posted by Rev Fr Stephen Yim


Thursday, February 4 2016

1 Kgs 2: 1-4; Mk 6:7-13

Messengers of Jesus

After Jesus was shown disrespect by the people of His home town, (which was our point of reflection yesterday), he left Nazareth, and went around other villages in the area continuing to teach about the Kingdom of God. But after several days of this, Jesus decided it was important to get alone with His 12 disciples and give them some assignments.

These people were going to be His messengers, representing Him to places He didn’t have time to visit. They were going to be His ambassadors to areas He couldn’t go to. And as we take a look at these messengers, I want you to notice some three things about them, because these same three things need to be characteristic of us as we are Jesus’ messengers in the 21st century.

First, I want you to see how these 12 apostles were prepared. There’s nothing fancy here. No College-training. They were qualified to “go” and represent Jesus, for just one reason- they had spent time with Him. That was the extent of their preparation.   They have seen him perform miracles, they had heard him preach.  They had seen him even rejected at his own home town.  They will have to do the same thing.  Preach, cure, and even get rejected (not immediately, but after the departure of Jesus).  Now he gave them a trial mission.

To be an effective messenger of the good news of Jesus today, we require the same preparation.  Only people who have spent time with Jesus are qualified to share with others.   We need to hear him, see him and spent time with him. That’s because you cannot give what you do not have; and you will not have anything to share if you don’t personally know Jesus. We do need a living relationship with the living Savoir and our mission is the sharing of that relationship.

Secondly Jesus gave them power and authority over the unclean spirits.  These disciples weren’t sent out under their own power. They went to their assignments under the power of given to them by Jesus Christ.  God never calls us to do anything for Him, without giving us the power we need to accomplish the task.  If he has called us, then he has given us the necessary strength to accomplish the work he has entrusted us.

Thirdly, we should know that all the apostles were just normal, average people.  But their stay with Jesus made them his messengers.  We are all average people.  Still God calls people like us, and make us his messengers in this world today. Dr .Cyril Kuttiyanickal CMI


February 04, 2016

REFLECTION: There is something moving about today’s first reading. In it we see dying David giving his last advice to his son Solomon. We sense a great urgency in his words. And do we not share the same feeling when we ourselves give advice to our children on how to lead a good and Christian life? How we would like them to grow up into real lovers of God and neighbor! And we do our best to show them the way by setting a good example, by frequently reminding them of their Christian duties, by lovingly correcting them whenever necessary, by praying for their progress, and by hoping with all our hearts that they will eventually turn out to be the sterling human beings we dream they will become. But we know that, despite our best efforts, anything can happen. Why? Because we are dealing with free agents. In the end each one of our children will choose his or her character. Jesus was a superb teacher, yet he was not successful with Judas. People are free—and even God respects their free decisions. This thought should console us when we fail as parents.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Thursday of the 4th Week of the Year

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