14th Week In Ordinary Time, Thursday

In today’s Gospel Our Lord continues to teach the Twelve what it means to be an apostle and what an apostle. Every believer is called to be an apostle in his or her condition and state of life. Today Our Lord tells them the message they should preach in their travels: “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is the nucleus of Jesus’ preaching during his earthly ministry, and in other Gospel accounts he combines this message with an exhortation: “repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). It puts the listener on notice that an opportunity is near for conversion and faith. Every apostle has taken advantage of this opportunity: through baptism we have turned from sin and expressed our faith in the Gospel. For many of us this happened in our infancy and thanks to our parents; it began a work of God in us that blossomed into the believers we are today. It reminds us that it is a gift we were given, not something we earned.

We as apostles have an chance to share the gift. We can be instruments of presenting that opportunity to others as disciples of Christ: a message of conversion and faith. It is an opportunity for healing and for casting out the evil in our lives that afflicts us. Our testimony to how Jesus has healed us and cast out evil in our lives is a powerful motivation for others to welcome his message. We may not always see ourselves as direct instruments of God’s healing, or exorcists, but the power of God in our lives is a powerful testimony that helps others to believe that such a liberation from evil and sin is also possible for them.

Let’s thank Our Lord today for those people in our lives who brought us the message of salvation, and let’s ask Our Lord to show us how we can share that testimony in order to give others the opportunity to know Our Lord and be freed from sin.

Readings: Genesis 44:18–21, 23b–29, 45:1–5; Psalm 105:16–21; Matthew 10:7–15.