Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10, 1-7
“Go teach the message; the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew gives a summation of the importance of what Jesus has been doing; that is, preaching, teaching, healing, praying, and most especially, showing His capacity to love. Up to now, His disciples have been His students and followers. Jesus summons them to prepare to pass on His ministry so they will follow His lead. They will become apostles. They have received their own call through God’s gifts.
Matthew begins by identifying the names of each of the twelve: Simon who is called Peter, which means “the rock”, his brother Andrew, James who is the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, followed by Phillip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew (identified as the tax collector) and James who is the son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus and Simon the Zealot and the finally the last one identified as Judas Iscariot (who would betray Him). It is no accident that Peter is first, since he will lead the church.
Jesus then gives his apostles authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy and drive out demons as He has done before; essentially assuring them of the power of the Holy Spirit within them.
Jesus wants to make sure they have a clear understanding of what they will be up against. He tells them to avoid outsiders and find and heal the “lost sheep of Israel” without any cost. He reminds them about making sure they are greeted with hospitality and trustworthiness before they pass on their blessings.
Basically everything until now has brought them to this point. The reason for this is vital; “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Have you ever considered that you were meant to be a teacher because you are a student of Jesus?
Jesus, teach me to be like the apostles, understanding the gifts I have been given from the Holy Spirit for the purpose of bringing others to your kingdom.
Copyright 2016 Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh
Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh (Cathy) completed her education in Special Education and English and now works as an agent in the insurance industry. A mother and grandmother, Cathy grew up in a large Catholic family and has spent the last 30 years as a caregiver for her husband, Jack. She is a cancer survivor, which inspired her to begin writing six years ago.