Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So, they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. Mark 6:7-13
In the Gospel, Jesus send His apostles in pairs – two by two. Why? Because as a wise man once said, ‘Two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). Two men work more efficiently and do more work than two men singly. But more than this, they can be a vital assistance to each other especially spiritually. Working in the vineyard of God is arduous, even dangerous work that can lead workers to stumble. However, as the same wise man also said, “if either of them fall down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10). Another reason is presumably because Jesus wanted people to learn to walk together. Not only did this avoid the risk of solo player getting inflated egos but each person’s skills or abilities could also compensate for what the other is lacking.
The Apostles took Jesus’ advice seriously, and with rare exemption, none of them work alone. These days, with scarcity of laborers in the harvest, there is a tendency to go out alone. But we may have been able to reap a far greater harvest if we had followed Jesus’ method of sending people out of pair.
Now this advice is good not only for us missionaries but also for all the believing Christians. Following Christ is a very challenging task- the road that leads to life- is after all narrow. Having a like-minded brother or sister travelling with us can make the journey easier. They can serve as prayer partners, or people that one can hold oneself accountable to, or somebody to share one’s struggles with- especially those struggle that humpers our spiritual growth. We have grown in our faith to the point where we would share it with others. Having the partners with us will help us gain the confident to do so.
In our community life, Father Palau would tell us, “Being united, journey together, chained by chains of God’s love. You will go in the same way. A five years old child could lead you; it is to say, Jesus Christ will be your guide” (L 7, 3). As we witness in each of our community, it is true that when there’s two together there’s so much more strength. Because you have somebody to pick you up when you fall down. You have somebody to sharpened iron with, to bounce things up and bit together. If we try to do it in our own; its discouraging somehow, its lonely. Being sent two by two is a powerful thing.
Let us walk together, assumed the mission with passion, creativity and from the co-responsibility with an open and liberating mind. Remember, we need the strength of another to go on proclaiming the beauty of the Church.
Daisel Lumani, CMT
Queen of Carmel – Lucena