By Pope Francis
Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:7-13) narrates the moment when Jesus sends the Twelve Apostles on a mission. After calling each of them by name to be with him (Mark 3:14), in order to listen to his words and observe his gestures of healing, Jesus now calls them again to send them out two by two (Mark 6:7) to the villages where he would visit. It is a sort of internship for what they would be called to do following the Resurrection of the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel passage pauses on the style of the missionary that we can sum up in two points: The mission has a center; and the mission has a face.
First, the missionary disciple has a center of reference — who is Jesus himself. The narrative indicates this by using a series of verbs which have him as the subject: He called them. He began to send them. He gave them authority. He charged them. He said to them (See Mark 6:7, 8, 10). In this way, the going out and working of the Twelve Apostles seems to radiate from a center; reaffirming the presence and work of Jesus in their missionary actions. This shows that the Apostles have nothing of their own to proclaim, nor any abilities to show off, but rather they speak and act as emissaries or messengers of Jesus.
This episode of the Gospel also applies to us, not only to priests, but to all baptized people who are called to give witness to the Gospel of Christ in various spheres of life. And for us, too, this mission is authentic only in so far as its unchanging center is Jesus. It is not an initiative of faithful individuals, groups, or large gatherings. It is the mission of the whole Church, inseparably united with the Lord. No Christian proclaims the Gospel on his or her own. We are only sent by the Church who received the mandate by Jesus himself. Indeed, it is Baptism that makes us missionaries. A baptized person who does not feel the need to proclaim the Gospel, to proclaim Jesus, is not a good Christian.
The second characteristic of the missionary’s style, so to speak, is a face, which consists in the poverty of means and to a criteria of modesty. In fact, the Twelve Apostles have the order to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts (Mark 6:8). The Teacher wants them to be free and unhampered, without reserves and without favors, certain only of the love of the One who sends them and strengthened only in his Word which they proclaim. The staff and sandals are the gear of pilgrims because the messengers of God’s Kingdom are pilgrims — not all-powerful managers, irreplaceable officials, and not celebrities on tour.
Likewise, the saints are not officials or business people, but rather humble workers in the Kingdom. This was their face; and this face also describes how the gospel message is received. It may not be heard or welcomed. This is also a form of poverty. This is the experi- ence of failure. This is the experience of Jesus, who was rejected and crucified. And this anticipates the destiny of his messengers. We can only find the courage to evangelize if we unite ourselves with Jesus, who died and rose again. May the Virgin Mary, the first disciple and missionary of God’s Word, help us to convey to the world the Gospel message in humble and radiant joy — beyond all misunderstanding, rejection, or tribulation (Sunday Angelus; 7-15-18).
The Call to Prayer
Fill the Hearts of Your People!
A Prayer for Missionary Disciples
O Lord, send forth your Spirit,
and fill the hearts of your people
with an ardent desire to follow Jesus,
and to be his missionary disciples.
Fill us with joy
and a desire to know your word.
May we boldly proclaim
the Good News to others;
for when we help others
know that God loves them,
they will know true happiness.
Fill us with a deep desire for the Eucharist.
May we recognize Jesus
in the proclamation of the Scriptures
and in the Breaking of the Bread;
for when we are united with Jesus,
joy is constantly born anew.
Fill us with a true love of neighbor.
May we seek opportunities for reconciliation,
and with big hearts serve those in need;
for in serving them,
we know we are serving Jesus.
With the help of the Holy Spirit,
may we commit ourselves
to loving you and doing your will.
Glory to the Father,
to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Saint Ann, pray for us!
Saint Joachim, pray for us!
Saint Anthony, pray for us!
Saint Peter, pray for us!
Our Lady of Good Voyage, pray for us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Youth Faith Formation
First Holy Communion
Blessings & Congratulations!
On behalf of the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, Father Jim wishes to congratulate the following children from Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish who successfully completed our program of preparation and who received their First Holy Communion during the month of June:
Francis de Brigard
During the past year, sixty young fellow parishioners and their parents prayed, studied, and grew together in prayer, fellowship, and service. They learned together that disciples of all ages are called to live the Gospel, share God’s love and mercy, and rebuild the Church. They are all well-prepared to receive the Body & Blood of the Risen Lord and to become faithful and faith-filled disciples.
In addition to these young disciples, thirty more students and their families will celebrate First Holy Communion over the course of the summer at Sunday Masses in both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. We look forward to welcoming them into our churches and parish families!
Please pray for our young disciples, their parents, and their families so that they will continue to grow in faith, hope, and love; and that they will continue to join us for Mass on a regular basis. Please also pray in thanksgiving for our pastoral team and our dedi- cated volunteers who make these celebrations possible. For more information about First Holy Communion, please contact Father Jim at email@example.com. Thank you for your prayers and support! May God bless you and your family!
The Assisi Project
We’re Praying for You!
Founded in 2007 by Father Jim and Cliff Garvey during their first pilgrimage to Italy, the Assisi Project is a Fellowship of Franciscans in Spirit. Our mission is to help believers of all ages and backgrounds grow closer to Christ, closer to the Church, and closer to each other through the intercession, inspiration, and good example of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
Members of the Assisi Project range in age from 13 to 95 and live in the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, from all across the country, and all around the world. We pray everyday for those who ask for our prayers. If you would like us to pray for you, your family, or your special intention, please contact Cliff at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Assisi Project and its good work in our parishes, please contact Cliff or click on the link below! May the Lord give you peace!
Sharing God’s Love
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Help Us Help Others!
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is an international organization that is dedicated to responding to any request from any person or family in need. Here on Cape Ann, we work through Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish to serve the poor and the needy. Although our food pantry and clothes closet remain closed, our service to those in need continues! We need your support! Help us help others! Donations can be left at the parish office, dropped in the collection basket at Sunday Mass, or mailed to the following address:
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
74 Pleasant Street
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
New members are always welcome! For more information about the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and its good work in our parishes and hometowns, please contact Harry Miller at 978-281-8672 or Bob Weeks at email@example.com. If you or your family needs assistance, please call us at 978-281-8672. Thank you for your generous support for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society! May God bless you! and your family!
Safe & Easy Electronic Giving
Electronic giving is available at both Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. It is safe and simple to make online donations to your home parish using a credit cared or debit card. Donations can be made on an ongoing or one-time-only basis. And it takes just a few minutes to set up a secure personal account. For assistance or more information about this important fundraising resource for the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport, please contact Father Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your generous support for our parishes during these difficult times! Peace, blessings, and many thanks to all!
Established in 2014, the Catholic Community of Gloucester & Rockport is a collaborative of two historic parishes: Holy Family Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Parish. Working together as a Roman Catholic community united in prayer, fellowship, and service, we are committed to living the Gospel of Christ, sharing God’s love and mercy with all people, and rebuilding the Church in Gloucester & Rockport. All are invited! All are welcome! Always!
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In Memory of Fred Hubbard