June 11

FOCUS:    Allow the Holy Spirit to use you when others need encouragement.


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In reflecting on the Gospel reading for today from Matthew 10:7-13, there were two sentences that resounded in my ears. The first is - “Jesus said to the Twelve: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.”


Each of us, as baptized members of the Church instituted by Christ, have been commanded to proclaim the Good News as His disciples in this time and place. It may be difficult to proclaim that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand especially when it seems hidden in this broken and sinful world. That, however, seems manageable when compared to Jesus’ request that we cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.


It is true that request was made to “the Twelve”.  Christ may be making a similar request, or he may be making a different request, of us today. That is why it is important to have a place for prayer and silence in our lives, so we can hear the quiet voice of God speaking to us.


Perhaps we are not being asked to “cure the sick”, but rather to comfort the sick and support them in their illness. Could it be that we are called to pray for those who have died and to mourn with those experiencing the loss of a loved one. Perhaps, rather than “cleanse the leper”, we are being asked to tend to the wounds, both visible and invisible, of those we encounter on a regular basis. Instead of “driving out demons”, could it be that we are being asked to drive out the apathy, immorality, and godlessness that permeates society today. Could our call to “drive out demons” come in the form of lovingly walking with those battling the “demons” of addiction and mental illness.


The second sentence that resounded with me was – “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” It reminded me of the St. Ignatius prayer which I wanted to share with you:


Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous.

Teach me to serve as you deserve,

To give and not to count the cost,

To fight and not to heed the wounds,

To labor and not to seek to rest,

To give of my self and not ask for reward,

Except the reward of knowing that I am doing your will.