The first reading, from Hebrews, is scary! The anticipation of a “blazing fire and gloomy darkness” creates, fear, and apprehension in me. Moses, who was such a strong leader and a person I consider to have a close relationship with God even says, “I am terrified and trembling”. This reading for me, creates a God that I should fear, so having Jesus, “the mediator of a new covenant” gives me peace and reassurance to not be afraid but rather, to focus on the life and the teachings of Jesus. I feel very grateful for having been introduced to the life and the work of Jesus.
I found that in reading the Psalm response, “Oh God, we ponder your mercy within your temple” I began to consider whether or not “the temple” could be me? That a God of love, who forgives, is suggesting we have mercy on ourselves as humans, who do make mistakes. Jesus, as we have heard and have seen forgives and asks us to “sin no more” and yet as imperfect humans we do struggle with arrogance, righteousness and self-serving activities. Jesus, forgives us and asks us to sin no more, which is one of the first steps in self-forgiving and living our lives as followers of Jesus.
I have always loved this Gospel, which states, “began to send them out two by two”. That line has always told me how important it is to live our lives with others, having a companion to help me lead, to keep me in check and a feeling of being very much a part of the lives of others. The Gospel also reminds me of the “power of presence”, -“staying there until you leave there”. We are such a time-oriented society; it is nice to be reminded that people do matter and that stopping and taking a few extra minutes to greet someone, visit with someone, to share a true concern for and about another person is a blessing. “Shaking the dust off your feet,” tells me to not get bogged down or feel heavy when others do not welcome your message, your joy or your willingness to share. As our new President stated, we simply need to “pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off” and start anew in living our lives, following the contemporary phrase, WWJD- What Would Jesus Do?
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