“The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not ‘What a lovely sermon,’ but ‘I will do something!’” ~ Francis de Sales
Gospel Text: (MT 9:35-10:1, 5A, 6-8)
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
I can imagine it was not always comfortable for Jesus to go into villages and meet people he had never met before, people who didn't know him and might be suspicious of this street preacher. But Jesus went to these new places and talked with strangers. He taught, preached and healed. We are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. If you don't think you are smart enough to be a teacher, gifted enough to be a preacher or anointed enough to be a healer, then follow the injunction attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, "Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words." Let your actions do the teaching, preaching and healing. Look around you and see the needs of the people, let your heart be moved with compassion as was the heart of Jesus.