Two by Two
by Fr. Gregory Dick, O.Praem.
“Jesus summoned the Twelve… and He sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God…”
The utter single-mindedness with which Jesus sent His apostles forth to proclaim His Kingdom can seem daunting. “Take nothing for the journey…” Wow! Imagine putting this into practice today. No money, no food, no change of clothes… Actually, this much could be relatively simple, especially if the journey is just to the Sunday parish. But imagine going to preach a retreat or a parish mission, following the same guidelines. One thing is for sure, it would make baggage checking quick and easy!
The logic is simple and clear, though: If we are preaching His Kingdom, and if His Kingdom is one of Family, in which God is Father and all are His children by Baptism, well, it stands to reason, the most effective way to preach it is with the trust of a child that the One you are preaching as your Father will take care of you. No need to be preoccupied with so many things which so easily crowd our mind and heart and rob our attention from the one thing necessary—His Kingdom.
Yet, there is one thing that Jesus did send His disciples forth with, and not without: each other. In the next chapter of Luke’s gospel, where Jesus sends forth the seventy, He sends them forth in twos. Even apart from their material divestiture, what could be a more powerful witness of the familial Kingdom which they proclaim, than if it could be said about them: See how they love one another? How much self-reliance and just Self could be diffused if in the preaching and ministering of the Gospel, brother helped and relied upon brother! Even if brother cannot be alongside brother in person—which is undeniably the ideal and ought to be strived for—still, if in the apostolate we breathe that spirit of teamwork, how refreshing it can be! See, even the Trinity works in this manner in Its external activity: it is the Son and the Spirit Who are sent, and everywhere They go, They bear witness to Each Other, a Divine Teamwork!
I wonder, and invite you to do so as well, how we could put this into practice more generously—each of us, lay, priest, and religious alike. It is of pressing importance. As a contemporary Servant of God, Madeleine Delbrel said, “What we need [for evangelization] is people who offer, instead of money, the mending of our collective selfishness…” She goes on to say, “Our prayer will be genuine, if, when praying for unbelievers, we put right whatever it is in us that caused their unbelief.” No doubt, our own inflated ego is often the cause of the unbelief of others, directly or indirectly.
And since it is the guardian angels who are instrumental in our not hearing this portion of Luke’s gospel, perhaps we could ask them to enlighten us each in this regard.
Holy Angels, who work so selflessly in Godlike teamwork, help us to be selfless bearers of the Good News, seeking not to be known, but to make known, the Kingdom of God, to a thirsting, aching world.
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