Daily Reflection
July 12th, 2000
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
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Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
Psalms 105:2-7
Matthew 10:1-7

Israel is a luxuriant vine whose fruit matches its growth.
The more abundant his fruit, the more altars he built;
The more productive his land,  the more sacred pillars he set up.

Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind. ... 
"As you go, make this announcement: 'The reign of God is at hand!'"

O Lord, your call of these first twelve causes me to pause today and reflect on how you call all of us.  You didn't use a search committee or seem to be very concerned about qualifications or talent.  Was it something you saw in their eyes?  These didn't seem to be particularly 'religious' types.  Were you particularly looking for people whose lives might be a little messy?

I imagine you picked these twelve to accompany you because you sensed that something would happen within them when they experienced you doing your ministry.  When they saw you doing battle with "unclean spirits" and "sickness and disease," it must have shaken them and humbled them.  And, when you told people that God's reign over things was very close, they must have understood that it meant God's reign over the chaos in their own hearts first.

O Lord, renew your invitation to me today.  I sit in my fishing boat or at my tax collecting table or hide in my anonymity until you come like this and call me away from what is comfortable and protective.  In moments when I feel your look into my heart, I know that I might be comfortable and feel safe, but I'm not happy or free unless I stand up and walk away from some stuff that controls me.

And, Lord, Hosea helps we see that it's tricky.  I can produce lots of fruit and be very productive and be about building idols to lots of gods, perhaps even to myself.

Let your reign over my heart begin.  Drive out the spirits within me that are quite unclean, unhealthy, unfree.  Cure and heal all that not well within me.  And, there, in that place of encounter with your love, send me, with your "authority" to love as I have been loved.

Then, Lord, you can send me to notice and touch the pain of others.  Then, you can inspire me to see the unclean spirits in our culture and in the world around me that deprives your people of freedom and justice.  Then you can mission me to be a source of healing that can credibly announce that God's reign is close indeed. 

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