Three things are at work today in these readings: dependence on God, dependence on those to whom we minister, and dependence on our fellow workers. Yet, despite opposition over centuries, the mission continues.
Amos was from the south in Judah, and was sent to the north by God to preach against the economic injustice and idolatry that was prevalent in the northern kingdom of Israel (Amos 7:12-15). He was not a prophet nor a preacher, and yet was sent alone to minister in God’s name. Therefore he had to depend entirely on the providence of God and those who were open to his message of repentance. It appears he may have gathered some followers, who collected his oracles and messages (as we have them in the bible), and provided support for his preaching efforts.
In today’s Gospel (Mark 6:7-13) we learn how the disciples of Jesus were sent out in pairs, to preach repentance and restore wholeness to the sick and possessed. They were to go without possessions, depending entirely on the providence of God and those to whom they ministered. Being in pairs, they were also low able to support each other and help each other keep focused on their mission. They were not to waste time on those who rejected them and their message.
Each one of us, by virtue of our baptism and confirmation, also has a disciple’s responsibility to continue to spread the Good News about God’s mercy, and call others to repentance. We support each other in this effort, particularly where a husband-wife relationship exists as they minister to their family, neighbours and co-workers. The key is dependence, prayer support, and perseverance, as well as recognising and accepting rejection.
Thus, those with a vocation to the religious life deserve the support of those to whom they minister (1 Tim 5:18). The latter have the duty and obligation to provide for the needs of the Church within their abilities.