The text of today contains what may be termed as the “Mission Discourse” according to Mark. Jesus sends his disciples out on mission, and instructs them about the content of mission and provides a strategy for mission. The content combines word and action, proclamation and deed. The Kingdom is not merely a spiritual enterprise, but connected intimately with the whole of life. The strategy that Jesus gives may be summarised in one word, which is “detachment”. Jesus instructs them to be detached from material things and even from the outcome of mission. The job of the one who is sent is to engage in mission and not bother about the results. The results will be taken care of by God.
The Church has two patrons of Mission St. Francis Xavier and St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, whose lives were quite different from each other. While St. Francis Xavier was active moving from place to place with the hope of baptising as many as he could, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus spent her religious life as a Cloistered Carmelite and never went from place to place but remained where she was and still did mission. By placing these two different individuals and lives before us, the Church is pointing out to us that Mission is one: namely working to make the kingdom that Jesus inaugurated a reality. This may be done through various ministries or apostolate. While one kind of ministry may be prayer, another kind can be preaching.