|Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8,
Psalm 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
In today's gospel we see Jesus naming those who would work the most closely with him, those to whom he gave the greatest power and responsibility. And whom does he choose? One who stole from the common purse and later betrayed him, and another eleven who were uneducated, simple, from the lowest levels of society, and ambitious to boot. And the very one whom he chooses to lead this band denies Jesus when the chips are down. It is such as these whom he sends out to proclaim the immanent presence of the kingdom of God and to heal his people.
This is of some historical and theological interest, but what is more important is what it says to each of us. We too betray Jesus time and time again through our sins, and we believe ourselves to be bereft of the gifts and training needed to spread God's word. We doubt that we can really heal or that we can proclaim God's love and presence in this world. We renounce, without really thinking about it, our baptism and our confirmation, the presence of the Spirit in us to quicken and strengthen, to guide and guarantee.
But if we are willing to generously and fearlessly live the lives that God offers us, no matter what we might think of ourselves and our worthiness, the first thing that we need to do is to work hard to reduce sin and the effects of sin in our lives, if for no other reason than not to cause scandal when we speak of God. We need to spend time in prayer in order to know the Lord personally. We need to act, humbly and gently, to change this world in the Name of our God. And we need to spend more time in prayer speaking with the Lord about our experiences and letting him teach us about what he wants from us next.
We too are apostles, not one of the Twelve but like Paul called out
of time for our own special mission, just exactly who we are and in precisely
the circumstances God has placed us in.
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