14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C): Gospel – Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Today’s Gospel is much more than just a description of historical events. Rather, it reveals a divine reality still at work in the world now — indeed, until the end of time.
Jesus’ commissioning of the disciples Whom He has chosen, and entrusted with His own power, endures through the ministry of the Church, governed by the bishops who are themselves successors to the apostles.
The Catechism teaches:
The Lord Jesus endowed His community with a structure that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved…The Twelve [apostles] and the other disciples share in Christ’s mission and his power…By all His actions, Christ prepares and builds His Church (paragraph 765).
“The Gospel was handed on in two ways” – not only in writing, but
orally, by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received (76, quoting Dei Verbum).
In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church, the apostles left bishops as their successors…The apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time (77, quoting Dei Verbum).
As a result, “the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church” (862).
Since the apostles (and disciples in today’s reading) were chosen together and sent out together, this ministry has ever had a “collegial character.”
Every bishop exercises his ministry from within the episcopal college, in communion with the bishop of Rome, the successor of St Peter and head of the college. So also priests exercise their ministry from within the presbyterium of the diocese, under the direction of their bishop (877).
Question for reflection: How do I support those who dedicate their lives to the Lord’s service?