The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
“The Kingdom of heaven is at hand…” this was what Jesus instructed the disciples to proclaim in their preaching in today’s Gospel. These same words resonate in my ears as a priest in process. It led me to ask myself, how have I become an instrument of proclaiming the joy that this message brings as I go through the formation process for the priesthood?
I remember my immersion in Bukidnon three years ago. I stayed in a parish for more than one month and was given several pastoral tasks by the parish priest; among which was the giving of recollection in the parish church and also in the different chapels under the jurisdiction of the parish.
Since it was Lenten season, the recollections I gave focused on repentance and forgiveness. In one of the chapel recollections that I gave, there was this woman who approached me after the recollection and she was crying. She said she was already willing to forgive her husband who has caused her so much pain and sorrow. The chapel folks told me that the woman because of her problem with her husband had stopped going to church for months and it was only then that she went to Church again. I could say that the Kingdom of God has dawned on that woman who was willing to forgive her husband. She was willing to let go of the hurt and start anew by giving her husband a second chance. Isn’t our God also a God of second chances? Why should not we be like Him? Always willing to forgive and to accept us in spite of our repeated rejection of the love He offers for us.
In whatever state of life we are called – as laymen, religious or priests may be; the call to discipleship holds. We are all called to be instruments for the spread of the kingdom of God here on earth through the proclamation of our lips and the work of our hands with much fervour and joy. Amen.