Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost, you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words–
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.” Matthew 10: 7-15
Jesus chose these twelve disciples intentionally. They were to receive intensive training and instruction to share in his ministry uniquely. Yet, by the end of the gospel, every one of this group had deserted him, the first-mentioned of the group, Peter, had denied him publicly, and the last mentioned, Judas Iscariot had betrayed him to his enemies.
Even though he had given exclusive power and had spent more time in his company than others, listening to him and seeing what he did, they failed him when the cross came into view. They were not faithful to their calling. In the words of (I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer (Hos 11:1-14), their heart was false.
Although Jesus calls each one of us, he cannot force us to respond call. Although for our lives, he is somewhat helpless before we refuse to cooperate with his purpose for us. Yet, in the gospel story, the failure of the twelve was not the end of their relationship with Jesus.
After he rose from the dead, he appeared to them in Galilee and renewed his relationship with them, sending them out to preach the gospel to all nations.
The Lord may be helpless before our failure, but he remains faithful to us in spite of our unfaithfulness to him and he is always at work to bring some good our of our failures. All he asks is that in the words of the first reading (For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you. Hos 11:1-14), we continue to ‘ go seeking the Lord’.
A blessed week to all. Fr. Fidel