Matthew 10: 1-7
Hos 10:1-3,7-8,12 / Psa 105
…go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Being sent, it is our duty
To share what we have been given;
That in this we may be worthy
To receive the prize of heaven.
Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no Samaritan town, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matthew 10:1-7)
The bible tells us that everything in life has a purpose, and we are all born on earth to pursue a mission. In the book of Genesis, Joseph, the closest precursor of the Messiah, was sold to slavery in Egypt. But in the divine scheme of things, he turned out to be the savior of the Israelite nation (and even the whole world). Little did Joseph and his brothers know that he was hand-picked by the Lord and given the gift of interpreting dreams for the mission of saving his people from starvation and extinction.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus also hand-picked His twelve apostles for the mission of healing the sick and setting free those possessed by evil spirits. He sent them to save “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” God never gave up on His Chosen People. He empowered them for this mission of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven. The apostles were just common folk who did not know what their mission in life was going to be. They had no special qualifications, and even lost heart and abandoned their Master when the authorities arrested Him. But in the end, all of them, except one, proved their worth in building the Church of Christ on earth.
The word “apostle” means “one who is sent”. All of us who feel that we have been called by Christ to this renewal are also being sent to accomplish God’s purpose in our life. As renewed Christians, our ultimate goal is the kingdom of heaven, and our way to that destination is to be one with Jesus, the only Begotten Son of God. To be one with Him is to imitate His life on earth — not necessarily to be crucified — but to practice and proclaim His Good News of love, God’s mercy and salvation. We do not have to possess special skills to become Christ’s apostles. All that is required is our ‘yes!’, our willingness to be sent, and to believe that the Holy Spirit will do the rest.
As we have received, Lord God, so we must give. Come, Holy Spirit, lead us where we must be sent so that we may bring the Word of God to those who are still ‘lost’, and that Jesus’ saving grace may also come to dwell in their hearts. Amen.
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