TWO BY TWO
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
In the gospel reading of this 15th Sunday in ordinary times (Mark 6:7- 13), Christ sends out His disciples for apostolic work. He sends them out in pairs; two by two. Sent individually, they could have covered more territory in their evangelization. But Christ chose to send them out in twos. His reasoning finds root in biblical wisdom when scripture says: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves” (Ecclesiastes 4:9- 12). This saying reminds me of the song, “I Need You, You Need Me” which ends with the line, “You are important to me, I need you to survive”. What a truism! We need each other to survive.
So, by sending His apostles out in pairs, Christ was providing them with conditions that would make their mission successful.
We know that dealing with human beings can be very draining. So, being in twos, the Apostles could become a source of strength and encouragement for each other.
Human engagement is very unpredictable. Many a time it comes with failures and rejections; two outcomes that can be very hard to bear, especially when there is no one to offer some comfort. So by sending them out in twos, the apostles had the ability to provide solace and comfort to each other during difficult times.
There is a saying: “No one knows it all” and that “Two minds are better than one”. Being in twos, the apostles could bounce ideas off of each other, sharpen each other’s discernment, use each other’s skills and abilities to compensate for areas of lack, and develop better strategies for their mission.
We also know that people who are engaged in ministry can very easily lose focus, become distracted, and or lose interest. So, sent out in twos, the apostles could stir each other to refocus as a counter measure to distraction, idleness, or indifference.
We know that Christ is the master teacher. His tactic of sending out the disciples in twos is meant to teach us something. The journey of Christian life is not easy. After all Scripture says that the road that leads to life is narrow (cf. Matt. 7:14). So, it is always a good idea to have a like-minded spiritual brother or sister to travel with us on the path of our Christian journey; one who can serve as a prayer partner, or someone with whom we can share the Word of God and our spiritual reflections; someone with whom we share our struggles, especially those struggles that hamper spiritual growth. Do you have such a person in your life?
The power in families lies in their ability to see family members as God’s gift to each other so that they can be a source of strength and encouragement for one another, providing comfort and consolation in times of difficulties, helping one another think through stuff when decisions are to be made, use each other’s skills and abilities to compensate in the areas of other’s lack, and, above all, providing needed support to keep every member moving forward. This is what God expects of us as family members and the reason why He put our brothers and sisters in our lives.
In all, life is a collaborative endeavor. It is the most successful way of producing desired outcomes. While we are individually talented and our strength comes from God, God meets many of our needs through collaboration with others. This is what the Trinity is all about; Unity in Diversity.