Today’s Gospel reminds us that the Gospel is meant to be good news. Do we treat it as such? Sometimes we may think of it as old news, or maybe even bad news for our lifestyle. Just as the Twelve were told to shake the dust off their feet in towns that did not welcome them, we need to shake off those things that keep us from living the Gospel as good news that we want to share. Pessimism is contagious. Optimism is seen by many as sentimental and insubstantial, but the Gospel is something much more: it is a message of hope. Hope goes way beyond optimism; it means that, in the end, something good, something wonderful will come of our trials and struggles. With God that something good and wonderful will last forever and put those trials and struggles into perspective.
The Twelve were sent to heal as well. This did not just mean physical maladies, but spiritual ones too. When we don’t seek this healing it’s because we don’t really believe healing is possible. There are lots of people who’d like physical and mental healing and put their faith in every sort of therapy, treatment, and medicine, but the spiritual affliction must be addressed too, if there is one. If they’re healed spiritually they’ll be able to face any physical or mental trial and see its spiritual fruitfulness.
Let’s make the Gospel good news for us again today and share the news. Let’s reach out to the afflicted and help them come to Our Lord for healing. And let’s shake the dust off our feet of anything that gets in the way of those two goals.
Readings: Ezra 9:5–9; Tobit 13:2–4b, 4e; Luke 9:1–6.