To Be Sent

Matthew 10:1-7
Gn 41:55-57; 42:5-7.17-24 / Ps 33

And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
(Matthew 10:7)

By being sent, it is our duty
To share that which we have been given;
That in this work 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)

Reflection

The bible tells us that everything in life has a purpose, and we are all born on earth to pursue a mission. In the first reading in the book of Genesis, Joseph, the closest precursor of the Messiah, was sold to slavery and sent to Egypt. But in the divine scheme of things, he turned out to be the savior of the Israelite nation (and even the whole world). It was only when Joseph’s family had settled in Egypt did they realize that he was hand-picked by the Lord and given the gift of interpreting dreams for the purpose 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 empowered them for the purpose of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven. Like Joseph the patriarch, 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 kingdom of God on earth.

The word “apostle” means “one who is sent”. All of us who feel that we have been called by Christ in the 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 transform our life according to the values of 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 the hope of eternal salvation. We do not have to possess special skills to become apostles of Jesus. All that is required is our willingness to be sent, and if we believe that the Holy Spirit will guide us to do our best, then He will employ the talents that we ourselves may not be aware that we possess.

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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