The text of today is what may be termed as the Introduction to the Mission Discourse of Matthew (10,1- 42). It is only here that the Twelve are called “apostles”. This may be because of the context of the “sending” of the Twelve. Matthew has arranged the list into six pairs of two, by using the conjunction “and” after the first of each pair. The statement of Jesus to “go nowhere among the Gentiles” (10,5b) might seem harsh, but it must be kept in mind that even historically, the disciples were reluctant to go to non-Jews even after the resurrection and it took considerable time for the Church to realise that it had a universal mission. It must also be noted that this Universality is present at the end of the Gospel of Matthew when the risen Jesus commands the disciples to go to “all nations” (28,18-20).
The Mission of the disciples is both to preach and to heal, to say and do, word and action.
Our Mission as disciples of Jesus is not merely a spiritual enterprise and not only to a select view. It is a practical mission, which includes the material, economic and tangible areas of people’s lives, and must include all. As disciples called to Mission we are called to make the world we live in a better place for everyone.