On the basis of the Gospel of today, in his homily Bishop Zolile Mpambani of Kokstad emphasized that when Jesus was sending out his Apostles, it was with a clear mandate and indicated procedures they had to follow. He gave power over evil spirits, mandated them to preach repentance, drive out demons and heal the sick. Those who are sent are mandated to bring Jesus as a message not their own convictions and opinions. He said that those who are sent must be renewed by God before renewing others.
When he mandated them Jesus told them to convey the message of repentance. This was a disturbing message. It has to do with the total change of heart and actions. It is a call to a total change of lifestyle, and change from self-centered to God centered life.
Bishop Zolile said those who are sent are urged to bring mercy, healing and liberation to those they are sent to. They have to lift them from spiritual and physical pain. He added that it is the main task of the church to bring mercy of Christ to his people. But most of the time the sent are normally strong in the message but not in the mercy. People of God have from long time ago indicated what matters a lot in their life, and that is healing.
Bishop Zolile further said in the church we have sacraments and sacramentals but our people need to be educated in their use and usefulness. He also stressed that it is faith that bring healing to the people. The sacraments should be approached with faith so that they can bring healing to a person receiving them. Many people go to the pilgrimages because of strong faith that their life would be transformed. It is because of that strong faith they are healed from their ailments. “It is very important; therefore to bring the message and mercy to the people of God”, he said. As the messengers of Christ we are called to do the same.
Bishop Zolile said this to the Catholic Bishops during their daily morning mass. The Southern African Catholic Bishops have gathered at Mariannhill Monastery Retreat Center for their SACBC January Plenary.