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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

The kingdom is at hand
By FR JULIUS OLAITAN

July 12, 2018 (Thursday of Week 14 Year II)

 

The kingdom is at hand

 

Dear friends in Christ, today the mission of the twelve to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, is our focus. In this first missionary experience, they were not to go to the Gentiles and Samaritan towns. It was a preparation for the wider mission to the ends of the earth.

 

Our gospel reading of today (Matthew 10:7-15) deals with the mission through which God expresses his love to more people. Beyond the mission of Jesus himself, the twelve who had been with him and under his tutelage, now have the chance to go out on their own, to practice what they have learnt. There is the need for more vocations to be able to meet the spiritual needs of the world of our time. Aside vocations to the priesthood and religious life, there is the need to have committed lay faithful as evangelisers who are willing to collaborate with their pastors to continue to further the kingdom of God as they are able to penetrate even the hidden places where the priests and religious cannot access. 

 

They were sent out to preach and  to heal without demanding anything for the work they do since it has been given to them by God as a mission. To make sure that they are not weighed down by unnecessary baggage or distracted by their own comfort, he charged them, “No purse, no bag, no sandals, salute no one on the road.” It is a mission that must be delivered in a haste, there is no time to waste, the disciples were not to spend their time in unnecessary greetings on the way. It is a mission of peace, and the message to all, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In the Lord’s prayer, we are called to ask— “Your kingdom come.” There is the need for a conscious acceptance of the rein of God. That is what each follower of Jesus is called to do and to spread. Through the mission of these Apostles, salvation is open to all except those who on their own fail to receive the message. The disciples were not to judge them but to dust off their sandals only as a sign of that rejection.

 

The first reading of today (Hosea 11:1-4.8-9) reveals to us the hidden lessons on the reason for this mission. The prophet after using the image of marriage to describe God's love for Israel at the beginning of his work, chose to use the love of a caring and protective father for his child to describe it in this passage. "When Israel was a child, I loved him, I called my son out of Egypt. But the more I called to them, the more they went from me..." Yet he says concerning his anger, "My heart recoils from it, my whole being trembles at the thought of it, I will not give rein to my fierce anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again, for I am God, not man." God does not delight in the death of the sinner. He wants to see all saved and come to the knowledge of truth. That is why the world today is existing on the pillar of mercy. Take advantage of the mission to save the world.

 

Let us pray: Lord rouse up your might and come to our help. Let your face shine on us and we shall be saved. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the  Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 
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