The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

July 12, 2017 – Wednesday 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 (10:1-7)

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.'”

Reflect: As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Through our baptism and confirmation Jesus calls us and equips us to represent him to the world. That call wasn’t just for the apostles a long time ago; it isn’t just for certain holy men and women recognized by the Church as Saints for their heroic lives; it isn’t just a call in the present day for priests, deacons and vowed religious women and men.  It is a unique call for each of us to be witnesses and disciples in the world today.  At the same time, we have to make choices: do we hope that it’s enough just being Catholic and fulfilling the minimum required by the law?; do we believe that we can straddle with one foot in the ways of the world and the other in the ways of Jesus?; or do we go all-in trying to live with complete immersion into the ways and words of Jesus? The Lord calls us to be saints for our time; to be countercultural; to be lights on the hill and good salt for the earth. He wants us all-in. More than ever, our God needs his people to proclaim that heaven is at hand.  There isn’t any time for delay. As the apostles dropped everything when they were called despite their sins, foibles and failings, so we are called to do the same – not because we are perfect, but because our God has created us to represent him, to proclaim his Kingdom at this moment in history. We’ve only got one life to live.  How will we choose to do it?

Questions: If I truly want heaven and all that Jesus promises, what is holding me back from being a serious disciple right in the midst of where God has placed me? What is the consequence of doing nothing and just living as if I’ve never heard Jesus’ invitation to take his call seriously? How is Jesus asking me to change the world, to announce that ‘heaven is at hand’ through my work, in my home, with my family, from the “ordinariness” of my life?

Pray: Loving God, you love me beyond all measure and you have called me for a special purpose. Please give me a courageous heart that is willing to make you and your message known by the way I live and words I speak. Give me the fortitude to persevere when convenient and inconvenient.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed the one who seeks refuge in him.                                      

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