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Sunday 12 Ordinary Time - The Commission

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The third reading for today is taken from a section in Matthew's gospel where the main theme is mission (please see text). It contains some very formidable exhortations. In Matt 10:27, for example, we hear Jesus say 'What I tell you ... proclaim from the roof tops.'

At present, European football is in all its glory. No team just goes out on the field and plays any how. Each team goes out with a plan, and each team has a captain. The event that Matthew records for us in chapter 10 is quite similar to football in this respect. As Christians we belong to a team. And, Jesus is our captain. But, he is also the coach. What we ought to do as Christians we do not have to try to figure out for our selves on the field. He has already laid down the plan for us and he is with us always leading us. What we need to do now is follow him and his plan. 

Indeed, it is true that the task that is laid before us is enormous. And, we must also admit, some of the instructions can be puzzling. For example he refers to 'one who kills body and soul in Gehenna'. Who is that? Is it God or is it the devil? However difficult these challenges may be, we are obliged  not  to evade them. Perhaps, when we are confronted with these challenges, we must stop and ask ourselves what exactly is the basic task that has been entrusted to us? Getting this in focus may then help us to see the other things better.

Now, what is the basic task? The basic mission with which we are entrusted is to proclaim the simple message of both John the Baptist and Jesus: 'The kingdom of heaven has drawn near.'


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