Reading I: Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a
Responsorial: Psalm 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19
Gospel: Matthew 10: 1-7
Today's gospel has a lot to say to the modern world about the church and obedience. Jesus summons his disciples and "gives them authority over unclean spirits..." as he sends them on a mission. Then Matthew gives us a list of names. This list is important becasue it is the list of the twelve apostles, the first leaders of the church. It was to these men that Jesus gave authotiry and it is from these men that leadership through bishops has come down to us. This is Apostolic Succession and it is only found in the Catholic and Orthodox Church.
Jesus did not give his authority to anyone else. He gave them a mission, to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Those modernists theologians who like to dilute the authority of bishops and make the church into some sort of democracy would do well to read these lines of Matthew. Much as we would like it to be democratic, the church is not a democracy.....it is the Mystical Body of Christ, in which Jesus left us the apostles as leaders and us as being obedient to their teaching.