Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:7-15
Optional Memorial of Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The words stir something deep inside us, a feeling of excitement, of anticipation. The Kingdom of Heaven! What can we expect? What does it look like? Well, according to Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, it looks like people being healed of their diseases. It looks like dead people being raised and brought back to life. It looks like lepers being cleansed and demons being driven out from those who have been suffering.
This description of the Kingdom of Heaven does not make it much easier for us to imagine today. Although modern medicine does a great job of curing disease, we rarely see people healed instantly without its intervention. I can’t remember ever having seen someone raised from the dead. Leprosy is less common, and demons…well, this whole demon possession idea is something that modern people just don’t entertain.
So how do we participate in this Kingdom of God in our modern context? What all of these things have in common is the restoration of well-being. Jesus and his disciples, as agents of the Kingdom of God, are in the business of bringing wholeness to broken people. Curing illness, restoring life, and driving darkness away are all ways of creating wholeness.
While we may not have leprosy, we don’t have to look very far to see brokenness in our world. Depression, loneliness, anxiety, and isolation are all around us. People are hurting today as much as ever. Perhaps our role in the Kingdom today is to seek out these broken places and bring healing with the gifts we have received from God. These gifts were given to us freely, so we are to share them freely with others, just as the disciples did when they went from town to town performing miracles.
What gifts do I have that I can use to bring wholeness and well-being to someone in my life?
Jesus, help me to recognize the gifts I have freely received from you. Show me ways I can use them to bring about your Kingdom this week. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Abbey Dupuy