Reading: As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:7-8.
Good morning, happy Thursday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 10:7-15), Jesus continues his instruction to his disciples. He tells them that they should proclaim this message: “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus empowers the disciples to cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons.
Jesus sends out his apostles to preach in poverty. We find it difficult to accept that a poor apostle is an effective one, and tend to rely too much on having powerful means to make an impact. I pray for wisdom in this area, and for growing in the radicality of the Gospel. I ask this for me and for the whole Church and its leaders.
Jesus then instructs his disciples to travel lightly. They are not to take any money, extra clothing, or sandals with them. Jesus calls them to trust in the generosity of the people they will be serving. They are to trust and believe that what they need will be provided for them. I wonder if the disciples were amazed, surprised, or anxious when they heard Jesus’ instructions. After all, shouldn’t they take something along for their journey, just in case?
If we are disciples of Jesus, today He also empowers us with the ability to cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Now take a moment and ask yourself: How can I help someone who is struggling? What can I do to share joy, hope, and comfort with the individuals I encounter today?
Jesus invites his disciples to live with the risk of being dependent on others. With Jesus, I review how much I value independence and consider what it is like for me to ask for the help I need.
The followers of Jesus are sent out as messengers of peace, cautioned against keeping their attention on wounds or hurts. I take time to speak to Jesus about the dust I find difficult to shake off and humbly ask for healing.
Jesus gifts us abundantly each day and He call us to share the gifts and graces we receive with the people in our lives and in our world. Typically, the gifts and graces we must share often seem insignificant to us: lending a helping hand, visiting with someone who is lonely, or simply smiling at an individual you pass in the grocery store. Be alert: today you may be presented with the perfect opportunity to share your abundance. Be generous with your smile, laughter, love, and attention! Truly: there are” no greater gifts”!
Yet, Jesus is also aware of the opposition his message can arouse in others and prepares his disciples for the possibility of refusal. It is not always easy to be a Christian, and I ask for a strong faith in Jesus and his protection, so that I can deal with opposition in a Christ-like manner.