Commentary on the Gospel of
“IN WHATEVER HOUSE YOU ARE WELCOMED, STAY THERE UNTIL YOU LEAVE THE PLACE.”
Heretofore, as Jesus and his disciples have wandered the countryside, he has done all the teaching and healing. The disciples watched and learned from his example. Jesus knows there will come a time when the disciples will have to stand on their own, without him. And so he sends them out on their first trial. Here we see a glimpse of the post-Easter church. Jesus did not gather followers just to serve as witnesses to his short-lived ministry. They were to be the seed of a new movement, a new family, that would carry on and extend the message that he embodied. Jesus also offered a model of the ideal missionary, who does not come with wealth or the trappings of power and privilege. The missionary-disciple does not compel others to listen or accept his teachings; all he offers is the attraction of his message and the authenticity of his witness.
Many priests and religious have served the church in spreading the gospel to fields afar. But Pope Francis has reminded us that all Christians are called to be “missionary disciples.” What the disciples in this story did, so are we all charged to do—bearing witness to the gospel in our own homes and communities.