Jesus called the Twelve to him, and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority and power to deal with evil opposition … Then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits. (Mark 6: 7 – 8, 12 – 13)
I watch as the kindergarteners walk into church two by two for the school children’s Mass. They make me smile. In the massive gothic church they look even tinier than they are. They are excited, their eyes wide with awe and anticipation. A little bit afraid, they squeeze their partner’s hand tightly. Usually the braver of the two drags the one who is not so adventuresome along. As they walk past me, I hear the rote, “Good morning Father … Good morning Father” over and over again, as well as one inevitable, “Good morning God”. I will take that as a compliment.
It is no surprise that Jesus sends the 12 apostles out two by two. They will need each other’s support as they begin the daunting task of expelling demons. They will need the security of a safe and welcoming place to stay as well as someone else to hold onto. In the same way, the little ones need to feel welcome in church as they begin to understand what their Baptism just a few years earlier will soon ask of them. So, too, we come to church today to be with others we can hold onto as we share our faith in this coming week.