Jesus selects the 12 Apostles and sends them on a dangerous mission to convert Jews to Christ. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so he can always live in the reality of the Kingdom and by seeking the Gift of Fortitude so he can strive to draw many to the Kingdom of God.

Liturgy

11th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 9:36-10:8

Commentary

Following His comprehensive Sermon on the Mount, Jesus comes down from the mountain with His disciples, and begins an arduous campaign to preach the coming of His Kingdom, and to heal the multitudes. As He travels to cities and synagogues, Jesus is struck with visceral compassion, for the people are harassed and helpless. He shares His sorrow for the suffering of the multitudes with His Apostles, and tells them to pray for the “Lord of the Harvest” to send workers. 

Jesus immediately sends them, as the Lord of the Harvest sends workers, commissioning them in His Missionary Sermon (Mt 10). Having demonstrated His authority over Creation, Jesus launches His first phase effort to evangelize all nations by delegating His authority to 12 hand-picked Jewish men; the Apostles (meaning “to be sent”) are granted authority and power to cast out demons and cure every disease and illness among the Israelites. Jesus’ selection of 12 Jewish men as His Apostles is purposeful. God heavily invested in building the faith and traditions of His chosen Jewish people over the millennia and converted Jews will form a strong early foundation of His Holy Catholic Church; picking 12 Jewish men symbolically signals the prominent role Jews can have in Jesus’ Kingdom. 

Jesus charges the Apostles to announce, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”, confirming His intention to reestablish the divine order that existed at Eden. Demons, the followers of the Serpent of Eden, are to be cast out. Healing disease and illness among the “slain” (poorly translated as “lost”), alludes to the pain and death that started in Eden due to Original Sin. Jesus gives the Apostles the mindset an evangelist must have. They are to offer His gifts of healing without cost. They are to be completely reliant on Jesus to provide for them in their mission work, taking no money or provisions. Each evangelist is to be completely reliant on Jesus to provide for their sustenance.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Marvel at the incredible act of Jesus, the Divine King, as He begins to establish His Holy Catholic Church: Jesus, in His Human Nature, has the deepest Compassion for those who suffer; the perfection of Justice, Jesus is driven to Protect/Defend the vulnerable (a part of Justice); Divine King, Jesus calls, and with Divine Power, transfers supernatural capability (miraculous healing, cast out demons) to mere men (Apostles); Divine Priest, Jesus prefigures the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the establishment of the priesthood. 

Strive to live in the Kingdom

Realize: Jesus’ first directive to the Apostles is to preach, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”; The Kingdom of God was announced by Jesus and His Kingdom remains a reality, often unrecognized, in the world today.

Believe: Reflect upon the Kingdom of God/Heaven (CCC 541-550, 763-764, 2816-2821).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so I receive Your help to always view my life with the knowledge and understanding that I am living in the Kingdom of God even now.

Strive to bring many to the Kingdom of God

Realize: In response to the widespread suffering of mankind, Jesus compassionately urges His men to ask God to create and send evangelists (“laborers for the harvest”); today, more than ever, mankind desperately needs for God to send evangelists. 

Believe: Reflect upon the call for every Catholic man to Evangelize (CCC 1-3). 

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Fortitude so I receive Your supernatural perseverance and courage and I can heroically evangelize my family, friends, and many others, drawing them to the Kingdom of God.