Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:1-7
In the time of Jesus, a young Jewish boy went through a ten-year period of intensely learning his faith with the hope that he would be the brightest student, and in turn, would hear one of the great Rabbis say, “Come, follow me.” (In Hebrew, lech aharai…literally, “walk after me.”) If the young teenager was not an “A” student, he would hear, “Go apply your father’s trade.” Only the best were invited to follow the Rabbi.
Did you ever notice that the men Jesus chose as his twelve disciples were working in their fathers’ trade when Jesus, the Rabbi, asked them to follow Him? Peter and Andrew were fishermen, Matthew a tax collector. Thus, these men were not the “A” students, rather they were the “C” students, the average folk. This gives me great hope. Even knowing our flaws, Jesus wants us to be His disciples, so much so that He has sought us out for the job. In fact, Jesus tells us, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit…” (John 15:16).
When a Rabbi in the first century said, “Come, follow me,” he was saying, “I believe you can be like me.” Not only has Jesus, our Rabbi, chosen us, but in today’s Gospel He teaches us how to be like Him, charging us to preach the message He has come into the world to proclaim: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus believes that we can be like Him, that we can bring salvation to the lost sheep of our day. It is up to us to be receptive to His invitation and embrace His mission to heal and to preach the Good News.
Do I recognize opportunities to tell the people closest to me about Jesus? Just as the disciples were charged with reaching out to the Jewish towns first, so too must we guide and grow our Church. Often times, this starts with our families — our family at home and our family at church.
Jesus, help me be Your true disciple, help me be like You. Let my heart feel the compassion in Your Heart for those who are lost. Let my hands reach out to those in need of comfort and healing, and let my feet take me wherever You need me to go to spread the Gospel.
Copyright 2017 Kelly Wahlquist