Friday, July 8, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 10:16-23

Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 10:16-23

Today Jesus continues his instructions to his disciples, yet today’s Gospel has a very different tone from yesterday’s Gospel.  Jesus He tells his disciples that as they proclaim His message, they will be powerful in one sense and yet also vulnerable:  “like sheep in the midst of wolves.”  Thus, the disciples need to stay alert and also be shrewd in their assessment of every individual they encounter.

Jesus then warns them that they may be arrested, scourged, and taken before governors and kings for His sake.  In these situations, they are to be strong and witness to Him.  Then Jesus’ tone shifts and he begins to console the disciples.   He tells them that they should not to worry about what to say to the authorities.  Jesus promises that they will be given the words to say and no matter what happens to them, the Spirit will be with them and speak through them.

Can you remember a time in your life you felt persecuted or demeaned for what you believed?  At these times, did you have a sense of Jesus’ presence and grace, strengthening you and instructing you how to respond to this situation?  You may not have literally heard Jesus’ voice, however, you may have been amazed at your courage as you responded to the situation.  Perhaps unexpected words came from your mouth and you didn’t know where from whence they came.

Following Jesus typically is not an easy path.   Following Jesus means that every day we have to consciously choose to be who Jesus was and do what Jesus did.  At times, this may bring consequences upon us that we do not expect.   However, if we choose to deviate from the path that we have chosen, we will have to face Jesus and ourselves.

Following Jesus often sounds romantic.   If we choose to live and act as Jesus did, we will receive abundant graces.  However, if we strive to live as Jesus did, we likely will rock some boats and perhaps make some enemies just as Jesus did.  Every morning, we have a choice to make.  What is the choice you will make today?   I pray it is to follow Jesus and act as He did!

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