St. Mark 6: 7 – 13

Feb. 14, 2022

7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament explains these verses beautifully; here are the exact footnotes:

“6:7-13 Jesus dispatches the Twelve two by two as emissaries to the surrounding Galilean towns (Mt 10: 5-6). It is his authority that empowers their ministry of exorcism, healing, and preaching (Mt 10:1). Their mission is a training exercise for leadership in the Church, when they will be summoned to embrace evangelical poverty (6:8-9) and to trust in God for daily provisions (6:11). Morally St. Gregory the Great, Hom. in Evan. 17) Jesus sends out the disciples in pairs to signify that the twin precepts of charity are indispensable for the duty of Christian preaching. Those entrusted with this mission must always exemplify the love of God and neighbor.”

“6:13 anointed with oil: A symbol of healing and a medicinal agent in the ancient world. (Is 1:6; Lk 10:34). According to the Council of Trent, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is ‘suggested’ by this text. Whether or not this episode marks the formal institution of the sacrament, it is clear the disciples’ ministry anticipates its future administration in the life of the Church (Jas 5:14-15)”

It’s a constant reassurance that all that we do in church and all that we’ve been taught is directly from Jesus and can be traced back to Jesus; that the ‘faith once delivered’ is bone fide and comes to us from the highest Authority. (Jude 1: 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.)

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