Jesus sends the disciples out into the world in pairs. Why not send them alone? Surely this would allow the Gospel to spread further and wider. But no, Jesus always knows what He is doing.

He is establishing his mission as a communal endeavor. He is showing us that one man can do great things, but when we work together, we can do marvelous things. It is much easier to get things accomplished when two people work together. And working together builds relationships; relationships build community; community builds the Kingdom of God.

Jesus also instructs them to travel lightly, without the customary food, money, and extra set of clothes. These instructions mean that the Twelve will be dependent on the hospitality of others, just as Jesus depended on others to provide for his needs.

Jesus continues to send us into the world as his disciples. But like the first disciples, we are not sent alone. Jesus has given us the community of the Church, which strengthens our life of discipleship. The Christian message can only authentically be proclaimed in and through the community of faith that is the Church. In our work with others, we build this community of faith and can invite others to share in it.

Fr. Joseph