By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 9, 2015
July 9, 2015

Gospel MT 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“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.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”

Reflection:

Taken literally, this passage may seem as if it belongs in another time and place. But, in reality, today’s gospel message is as relevant today as it was in the days of the first apostles of Christ.

We are all called to make known that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and to let others know that right now, God’s love and forgiveness are available to anyone who is willing to welcome God into their lives.

For many Christians, the idea of “proclaiming” God’s love to others is intimating.

But nevertheless, without thinking of it as “proclaiming” about God, we do exactly that all the time.

When in parting company with someone, we say “God bless you” or “I’m so sorry about what you’re going through. I’ll say a prayer for you.” These are ways of “proclaiming” the presence of God.

When people convey their blessing on us or promise to pray for us, it lifts our spirit.

Most of the time people gratefully accept our godly intentions with a smile and a thank you.

Rarely does anyone reject our prayers or blessing. However, on occasion it may happen. A friend told me recently that following a troubling conversation he had with someone in the supermarket, he told the woman, “I’ll pray for you.”

The woman’s replied,”Don’t bother.”

When the blessing goes forth from our mouth, it is pure in its intention. We have no control over how it is received.

I asked my friend who had offered to pray, “What did you do?”

He answered, “I wished her well and went on my way. But, of course, I prayed for the woman. When I said, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ I had no idea how much she really needed it.”

It was a poignant reminder that we “proclaim” the love of God not for our own sake, but for the sake of others.

“We are either in the process of resisting God’s truth or in the process of being shaped and molded by his truth.” Charles Stanley



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