Readings for Wednesday July 7, 2010
First Reading: Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 105
Gospel: Matthew 10:1-7
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, "Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
Have you ever watched an artist make something? Perhaps it was a potter on a wheel, or a sculptor with their chisel, or a painter with their brush. I am always in awe to watch people create art, whether they are professional or amateur, it is a treat to be able to see people use their God given abilities to create something new. One thing that I particularly find interesting is that each piece of art is unique. No matter how many times the potter throws the same bowl on the wheel, each bowl with be slightly different. No matter how many times the artist paints the same scene of the fruit bowl and wine bottle, each painting will have its own uniqueness. All art has similarities, but it is its uniqueness that makes it special.
In today's gospel reading, we read about the mission of the twelve apostles. In the gospel, we read each of their names, and for some we get a little sense of who they are. Some are tax collectors, some have been given new names, some are brothers, and one who betrays. Each have similarities in the fact that they are each apostles and followers of Christ, but each also is a individual, and unique person created by God for a specific purpose. We read of the mission of the twelve, which is to go out and proclaim the good news of the kingdom of heaven. We share in this same mission today, this is something which all Christians are called to do. What makes each of us unique is how we are to share this message. God gives each of us different gifts and abilities, and we are to use those gifts and abilities for His glory. No matter what our setting or situation in life, we can proclaim the good news either through word or example.
Today let us reflect on this passage from the Psalms: "I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew ... Your eyes forsaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be." (Psalm 139:14, 16)
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for our lives, and for creating us with the gifts and abilities that we have. Help us to always use what we are given for your glory and to do your will. Each of us are made unique for your purpose, help us to truly take this to heart and to live in this way. Lord, we pray for all those in need of conversion and all those who do not know your love, may they be brought to your arms. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.