Passing On What We have Received

Matthew 10:1, 5-8

Today we hear how Jesus called the Twelve Apostles and sent them out on their missionary journey. We can note here that He gave them fairly specific instructions on where they should go and what they should do. While these instructions would later change after His resurrection, when He would send them out to all nations, He was preparing them for a specific situation and therefore limited their mission to the Jews.

The important point here is that the Apostles’ authority and power comes from Jesus Christ – they do not act on their own initiative, but on His initiative. Moreover, He does not suddenly send them out without any preparation, but rather within the context of a relationship in which they had been being taught and nourished by Him. As Saint John Chrysostom says:

They were not sent out at the beginning of their walk with Him. They were not sent out until they had sufficiently benefitted by following Him daily. It was only after they had seen the dead raised, the sea rebuked, devils expelled, the legs of a paralytic brought back to life, sins remitted, lepers cleansed, and had received a sufficient proof of His power both by deeds and words – only then did He send them out.

Like the Apostles, we are all called to pass on God’s love to those around us. We do this in different ways, but, for it to be authentic, we need to remain close to Jesus Christ, listening carefully for His voice. For, like the Apostles, we can only give what we ourselves have received from the Lord.

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The Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 10:1, 5-8:
At that time, Jesus called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.”