Be the Apostle

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Gospel is a continuation of Mark chapter six. In it Jesus gives instructions to his disciples and he sends them out to preach repentance in His name. Jesus named twelve “apostles” earlier in chapter three, the word “apostle” literally means “one who is sent.” The number twelve is also symbolic, it represents the twelve tribes of Israel. God’s aim is to re-found the people of God, as once the twelve tribes were called.

Jesus’ instructions are very specific, they are to go in pairs and to take nothing for the journey except a staff: no money, no extra clothes, no bag and no bread. They will have the power to “cast out unclean spirits” and “anoint the sick.” They are encouraged to stay in one house as a kind of base and not to move around. If they or their message, are rejected they were told to “shake off the dust from under their feet.”(This was a familiar gesture in Jesus’ time, a sign of disapproval for the lack of hospitality shown by someone).

Jesus continues to send us into the world as his disciples today, the gospel must be shared, witnessed to, and boldly proclaimed. We like the first apostles are not sent alone, we have the community of the Church which strengthens our life of discipleship. We can hide from this or dismiss it as not being our responsibility. We can even convince ourselves that if we are nice and kind people then we are giving witness. However the kind of Christian witness and evangelization that Jesus instructed his disciples to do means more than that. The Christian message is authentically proclaimed in a community of faith and through the Church and the Sacraments. We can ask ourselves this question: if building God’s Kingdom on earth depended on me, would it ever get done? Thankfully it doesn’t just depend on us as individuals but collectively as followers of Christ we are called to give witness which involves sharing with others the reason for our hope, our joy and our faith, as St. Peter says “Simply proclaim the Lord Christ holy in your hearts, and always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3: 15). Let us not be ashamed of the gospel and its message of repentance and turning to Christ, living a life based on Christian values is the best example we can give to others around us. The apostles showed great faith and courage to go out as Jesus instructed them to do, we can also ask for the same faith and courage.

A reading from the Gospel of  Mark (Mk 6: 7-13)

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick, no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. 

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. Jesus sent the apostles out in two’s, in sharing daily tasks we can accomplish more and can build up relationships. Try this week to gather as a family to carry out household tasks together. Talk about how it is quicker to work together and makes things more fun as we are spending time together.
  4. Jesus continues to give us a community with which we share our life of discipleship through our family and through the Church. Pray this week for the courage to live and work as Jesus asked us to do, especially if we are in an environment that is hostile to hearing God’s message. 
  5.   Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare;Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St Mark (6, 1-6)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a green clot
    vi. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊
  9. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family

In the Gospel today we are going to hear how Jesus sent his disciples out in two’s to spread his word, but even though they had to travel far and wide, Jesus told them not to take any of their belongings with them.

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  • Teamwork is important
  • Jesus wants all of his followers to be “apostles” and tell the world about Him.
  • Megaphone template
  • Scissors and glue
  • Stickers/ coloured pencils

Have you ever played on a team? Maybe at school or as a member of a sports club? A team is a group of people who all work together to get something done (like a school project). Each person on the team is important and can contribute something. Jesus had a team they were called the “twelve apostles.”

The word “apostle” means “a person who is sent out”. In the Gospel reading today Jesus gathered the twelve apostles and he began to send them out in pairs, they left two-by-two to work together and to visit other villages teaching and healing in the name of Jesus. The apostles had never taught before, but Jesus sent them out as part of His team. They were to heal the sick and cast out demons and they were to take only a walking stick and a pair of sandals with them. 

Jesus wants us all to be on His team. He wants all Christians to be apostles and tell the world about Him. Some people, like our parents, teachers, catechists or priests are used to teaching other people about Jesus as it is part of their job. God wants you to teach people about Him too, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before. Sometimes the best way to teach people about Jesus is by being good, but sometimes we can also speak to others about God’s love. What job would you like to do when you grow up? How will you be able to teach other people about God?  

One way of making announcements is to use a megaphone as it increases the sound. If you would like to make your own megaphone to tell others about Jesus you can print the megaphone template. Decorate it with stickers, write on it TEAM JESUS, and colour it any way you like. Then all you have to do is cut it out carefully and glue it together. When it is dry you can try it out! Welcome to TEAM JESUS, you can also listen to this song;   “J.E.S.U.S”.

Sign of the Cross

Dear God, we know that there are many people in the world who do not know about the Good News that Jesus taught. Jesus has told us to be like the apostles and tell others about your healing grace and merciful love. Help us to be willing to go. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Today we hear how Jesus sends out the apostles in pairs, to be a support for each other, they are to be missionaries, visiting villages and spread the Word of God by healing the sick and casting out demons. They are to take nothing with them except a walking stick and sandals, they must not carry any food, or a travelling bag, clothes or money.

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  • We are called to trust in Jesus, and be missionaries
  • Jesus gives us all we need in order to be faithful disciples
  • Black, red, yellow and green card/ construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pen/pencil
  • Mug/cup (to draw a circle)

In the Gospel we hear the story of Jesus sending out the “apostles” as his missionaries. A missionary is a person who travels to a foreign country to spread the word of God through charitable work such as setting up a school or hospital in a poor town, (St. Francis Xavier is the patron saint of missionaries find his story in the Heroes section.

People have different reasons for travel. Some fly for business, some drive to visit family members such as grandparents. Some travel to a foreign country on vacation. Jesus gave the “apostles” instructions to travel for the good of others.

When we travel, we usually take a suitcase filled with all the things we might need on our journey such as spare clothes, toothbrush, hairbrush, shoes (maybe you can think of other essential items) but Jesus sent them out in pairs without anything except a walking-stick and a pair of sandals! He sent out the Twelve on a missionary journey, they were to preach the Word of God and heal the sick. They did not need material possessions as Jesus gave them all they needed, they just had to trust in Him and rely on God’s Spirit. It was not easy for the disciples to leave everything behind, just as it is not easy to be a missionary in a foreign country but faith and total trust in Jesus helps people to go out and spread the Word of God.

During this week try to think how you can spread God’s message of love in your family, with friends or in your local community. Maybe you could see if you have any clothes which you no longer wear or toys which you could give to children in need. Let us live in the missionary spirit of self-giving, which will move us to take action. Small actions may grow into larger ones if we trust in Jesus He will give us all we need. We can pray for the courage to leave behind all the unimportant things which stop us from truly following Jesus.

Make a stop light with the words ‘stop’, ‘go’ and ‘slow’ to remind you that an “apostle” is a person who is ‘sent out’ to be a missionary. Just follow these instructions (insert instructions). Keep it in your room as a reminder of the Gospel message this week. Listen to this song whilst you are making it; He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.

Sign of the Cross.

Today Lord I want to pray for all the missionaries all over the world. I know that you love us all, I especially ask for your protection on my family and friends (you can mention their names). Help me to spread your message of love, repentance and mercy. Amen.

1. According to today's Gospel, Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them ...

Correct! Wrong!

2. To the Twelve, Jesus gave the power ...

Correct! Wrong!

3. The Twelve set forth and preached...

Correct! Wrong!

4. The Twelve, drove out many demons and ...

Correct! Wrong!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.