Remember the shows/movies ‘Mission Impossible’ where the super hero, more recently Tom Cruise, is presented with the challenge to accept (or not) what appears to be a death sentence ‘Mission’ which against all odds if accomplished saves the ‘world’. The death defying mission is accepted but with an accompanying and concluding statement from the secret government agency stating when the going gets rough our hero and his team are on their own with no confirmation of their assignment and/or support from the agency.
Today’s gospel account has Christ saying ”Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” Christ incarnate, became man accepting from the Father the ‘Mission’, never denied by the Father. He did all this while facing twists and turns in his short life/‘Mission’ to save the world just as Tom Cruise faced in an episode of Mission Impossible. Defying cultural past practices, turning the world upside down, proposing a change in life and facing the devil himself Christ moved forward, facing not a threat of death but death itself to save the world.
And then there is us – the apostles then, their followers. You and me today – we are presented the ‘Mission’ as you will, at Baptism, ‘Mission’ confirmed at Confirmation and never in our journey denied affiliation with the Father. Through the sacraments -- especially the Eucharist and Penance -- we are connected refreshed and strengthened during our lifelong journey. We have the ‘Mission’ to live our life in Christ. As the apostles we are commanded “go out and teach all nations”. So it follows that we too live and teach others by our very actions and words thus saving the world. As we reflect on this gospel we can do so knowing that our ‘Mission’ should we accept it (as we have the freedom of choice) is never a Mission Impossible.