In the first reading the people of Israel in exile in Babylon are allowed by King Cyrus to return and re-build Jerusalem and their nation. In their return they hoped to maintain the worship of Yahweh, their one true God.
In the Gospel reading Jesus sent his disciples out to the villages and towns to proclaim the good news and to heal the sick. Jesus instructed them to depend upon the people for their housing and other needs.
The disciples were, like their successors even in our time, human instruments helped and strengthened by the Holy Spirit in doing God’s work of preaching the Good News and establishing the Kingdom of God. As Bishop Kenneth Untener of Saginaw wrote, we are “workers and not master builders, ministers and not messiahs, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.”
With God’s grace, we should be confident and not fearful. For “with God nothing is impossible.” (Lk 1: 37)