Optional Memorial of St. Augustine Zhao Rong, priest and companions, Chinese martyrs
From: Matthew 10:7-15
The Calling and First Mission of the Apostles (Continuation)
(Jesus said to His disciples,)  "And preach as you go, saying,`The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay, give without pay.  Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food.  And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart.  As you enter the house, salute it.  And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.  And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.  Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town."
7-8. Previously, the prophets, when speaking of the messianic times, had used imagery suited to the people's spiritual immaturity. Now, Jesus, in sending His Apostles to proclaim that the promised Kingdom of God is imminent, lays stress on its spiritual dimension. The power mentioned in verse 8 are the very sign of the Kingdom of God or the reign of the Messiah proclaimed by the prophets. At first (chapters 8 and 9) it is Jesus who exercises these messianic powers; now He gives them to His disciples as proof that His mission is divine (Isaiah 35:5-6; 40:9; 52:7; 61:1).
9. "Belts": twin belts, stitched together leaving space where coins and other small, heavy objects could be secreted and carried.
9-10. Jesus urges His disciples to set out on their mission without delay. They should not be worried about material or human equipment: God will make up any shortfall. This holy audacity in setting about God's work is to be found throughout the history of the Church: if Christians had bided their time, waiting until they had the necessary material resources, many, many souls would never have received the light of Christ. Once a Christian is clear in his mind about what God wants him to do, he should not stay at home checking to see if he has the wherewithal to do it. "In your apostolic undertakings you are right--it's your duty--to consider what means the world can offer you (2 + 2 = 4), but don't forget--ever!--that, fortunately, your calculations must include another term: God + 2 + 2..." ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 471).
However, that being said, we should not try to force God's hand, to have Him do something exceptional, when in fact we can meet needs by our own efforts and work. This means that Christians should generously support those who, because they are totally dedicated to the spiritual welfare of their brethren, have no time left over to provide for themselves: in this connection see Jesus' promise in Matthew 10:40-42.
11-15. "Peace" was, and still is, the normal Jewish form of greeting. On the Apostles' lips it is meant to have a deeper meaning--to be a sign of God's blessing which Jesus' disciples, who are His envoys, pour out on those who receive them. The commandment our Lord gives here affects not only this specific mission; it is a kind of prophecy which applies to all times. His messenger does not become discouraged if His word is not well received. He knows that God's blessing is never ineffective (cf. Isaiah 55:11), and that every generous effort a Christian makes will always produce fruit. The word spoken in apostolate always brings with it the grace of conversion: "Many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to about five thousand" (Acts 4:4; cf. 10:44; Romans 10:17).
Man should listen to this word of the Gospel and believe in it (Acts 13:48; 15:7). If he accepts it and stays faithful to it his soul is consoled, he obtains peace (Acts 8:39) and salvation (Acts 11:4-18). But if he rejects it, he is not free from blame and God will judge him for shutting out the grace he was offered.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.