Walking the Walk of Faith

July 13, 2017 – Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (10:7-15)

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.”

 
Reflect: 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. Not only does Jesus command us to be disciples announcing that the “Kingdom of heaven is at hand”, but he asks that we do his work unencumbered, trusting completely in his divine providence (including the love and hospitality of others).  We hear this from the mouth of Jesus, yet it is a huge challenge for most of us to let go and to trust completely. That mindset flies in the face of our culture.  We are trained to be rugged individualists who can take care of ourselves without being dependent upon others. But yet, we see the example of Jesus who trusted entirely upon the provision of the Father.  He gave himself over completely to the will of his heavenly Father. In fact, he taught us to pray: “…your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…” So as Jesus sends out his disciples to witness to God, he sends them forth with nothing – no money, no backpack, no change of clothes or sandals, not even a walking stick. It wasn’t austerity for austerity sake.  It was to show that the disciples were imitating the Master – unconditional trust in God the Father. By doing so, they walked the walk of faith. They demonstrated that their lives were unfettered to the things and attitudes of the world, and that they trusted that God would provide lavishly and appropriately as they gave witness to the Way, the Truth and the Life. He will never fail us if we trust him!

Questions: What fetters do I cling to that interfere with a complete surrender to the will of God, the love and mercy of Jesus? What possessions, accomplishments, appearances, beliefs and attitudes hold me back from walking more closely with Jesus? What is one small step that I can take today to begin surrendering my life more completely to the will of God?

Pray: Loving God, I came into this world with nothing and I will return to you with nothing but your grace and love. Help me to live a life that shows that it is you I seek with every fiber of my being; for you are the one God, the only God, the perfect God, my God. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things will be given you besides, says the Lord.                                      

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ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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