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In last week’s Gospel, Jesus witnesses his hometown’s lack of faith. In the section we read from today, Jesus sends his 12 apostles out to share his mission and warns of that they too might encounter the same.

Sending them off in pairs, Jesus commands his apostles to bring nothing but the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet—for they are to rely on the goodwill of the faithful. Jesus says, “Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”

The 12 apostles set off to fulfill Jesus’ request. They drove away demons, tended to the sick and, we can assume, were confronted by the unfaithful.

There are many important lessons woven into today’s reading, including the significance of Jesus’ decision to send his apostles off in pairs. Mark’s report of this decision emphasizes the communal element of our faith. As followers of Jesus, we are never alone.

But the lesson we would like to focus on today is accepting the call of discipleship, despite the uncertainties and challenges. The apostles left behind the comfort of their homes in service of others. Jesus knows that the call to discipleship is not easy, but as people of faith, he asks it of us anyway.

We all find ways, both big and small, to fulfill our call to discipleship. We share prayers for others, attend mass, and support the needy when we can. A shining example of discipleship in practice is Henry Mshoka. A member of our CMMB family, Henry leads our gender-based violence projects in Zambia’s Northern Province.

Henry Mshoka gives a presentation

Henry Mshoke gives a presentation on gender-based violence prevention strategies.

Henry has dedicated his career to serving the people of Zambia and building a brighter, more equal future. We will conclude today’s reflection with an excerpt from our recent interview with him.

My contract is ending soon and I still have corners of the province that I have not traveled to train people. If I can train those people, maybe I can increase the level of change throughout this part of the country. I think I’ll be privileged if I’m given an opportunity to continue working here.

My family is thousands of kilometers away from me, and that is quite difficult. But, I’m able to work from home at times, and when I return to my colleagues and project, I’m happy – happy to be coming back to save another life again.

We thank Henry for sharing his story with us and encourage you to read our full interview with him—it will leave you inspired. You can find it by clicking HERE.

In grace and peace,


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*Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.