Wednesday, July 12, 2017

If thou art willing to suffer no adversity, how wilt thou be the friend of Christ?

Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, Bob, why are you resisting me? I said, I'm not resisting you! He said, You gonna follow me? I said, I've never thought about that before! He said, When you're not following me, you're resisting me. --Bob Dylan: (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941: is an American poetic songwriter, singer, and Nobel prize laureate.)

Gospel Text: (MT 10:1-7)
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
"Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"

The Twelve whom Jesus named apostles were ordinary people with neither high education nor extraordinary talents and possessions. They were ordinary people with their faults and shortcomings: proud, stubborn and hard-headed. Two would betray Jesus: one three times before simple house-girls and one for thirty pieces of silver.

However, they were basically loyal followers of Jesus. Strengthened by the coming of the Holy Spirit, they preached the Good News of Jesus to the world. Except for the apostle John, all of them gave witness to the Jesus they followed and the Gospel they preached with their lives.

God makes use of the ordinary to accomplish truly extraordinary things. God has decided to make use of and to need people for the spread of his kingdom.

By our baptism each one of us has been called and chosen by God to play a role in the spread of the Kingdom, in our own lives and in the lives of others around us. God may not have given us gifts of healing and authority over unclean spirits but he encourages us, as best as we can, to reach out to the broken-hearted and the lost, to the weary and the downcast, and to preach and share the Good News of the Kingdom with all the world. We are called to transform the world and to re-create it for the Lord Jesus.

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