First Week of Advent – Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8
In this Gospel reading, Jesus was traveling to villages and towns, teaching and preaching in the synagogues. He was proclaiming the Gospel of his Kingdom. He also was curing many people who were ill or in need. Matthew says: when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was filled with deep compassion for them. Jesus recognized how lost, hungry and alone the people were. Truly, they were sheep without a shepherd. They had no one to tend them or care for them.
Jesus then called His twelve disciples. He gave them the power and ability to heal, to drive out spirits and to cure every disease. Jesus then instructed them to find the lost sheep of Israel. He gave them the power to heal and to drive out unclean spirits.
I wonder how the twelve apostles responded to what Jesus said? Were they awed? Did they believe that they would be able to heal or to drive out unclean spirits? Or were they skeptical? Doubting? They must have been excited and felt empowered. However, I would guess they also must have had some doubts! Were they asking themselves: “who am I to work wonders like this?”
Today Jesus also is giving us power to heal! We may heal by listening to another person. Or we may heal by giving an unexpected gift of our time or ability. We simply may heal by truly seeing another person. We also have the ability to heal. Do we believe this? Do we use our gift of healing? Who will we reach out to today? We can heal with a touch, with loving words, or perhaps by simply listening to another with our full attention!