As the daily new cases of COVID in FL rises to a new high today of 9,085 … we recognize, yes, that there is more testing going on … but the count is only a portion of all the cases walking the streets of our state …. Please, please stay safe … We pray that all will take the situation seriously, be courtesy to others by wearing masks, practicing distancing and when practical staying home. God bless responders and health care providers
God bless each of you!
This gospel reminds us that Jesus’ message is not about a way of life founded only on love and mercy. Ours is a way of life, above all else about the person of Jesus. Jesus claims a special place in our lives, more important than our closest family and dearest ones. Being a disciple is not a photo frame around my life. It takes center stage, directing every moment of my life.
Here, Jesus assures us that even the smallest gesture of mercy to those in need will not go unnoticed. We are rarely asked for a cup of water. And the rewards promised by Jesus extend far beyond a single quenching of someone’s thirst. It goes beyond a donation to Daystar or AIM or a Christmas gift for the elderly – even beyond a hidden act of charity. Jesus’ kind of mercy is more than civility and good manners. It is about day to day living that echoes respect for all God’s creatures and all creation. It is gratitude expressed in a smile, an acknowledgment of another’s presence, their service and gifts.
Henry Nouwen says: The right question to ask is not: “Am I strong enough to be a proclaimer of the gospel?” The question should be: “Am I sufficiently weak enough?” Am I aware enough of my own weaknesses, with my own fragile humanness with its brokenness and rough pieces to identify with others? Do I accept my condition or do I try to hide it and end up being hardened, rude and unaccepting of others’ humanness? Do I recognize and accept the we are all on the same journey?
Walking with Jesus means leaving old patterns, accepting here and now with what is now. COVID is forcing this. There is nowhere to hide; we have to face the reality of the pandemic recognizing our own vulnerability and fragile-ness and being grateful for the kindness of others. And, we are reminded daily of people’s dependence on us for our prayerful support.
In this Gospel Jesus tell us: “Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me.” As Christ’s disciples we do not come in own name, of even the name of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida. We don’t make up our mission; it is given to us. We are sent to reveal the One who sends us. That’s why in our Corporate Commitment we can dare to profess, “we will respond to the hungers of the people of God with, not Christ-like compassion, but with the very compassion of Christ.
What attracts people to our mission is not what we do, as much as it is why we do it. Jesus says: “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one wo sent me.” We pray that in our sincerity, our transparency in accomplishing our mission – our ministries – our manner of life – we can honestly say: They who see me – see Jesus – the One who sends us.
~Reflection by Sister Roberta Bailey, OSB, Prioress
First Reading 2 Kings 4”8-11, 14-16 a Second Reading Romans 6:3-4, 8-11
Gospel Matthew 10:37-42