by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 10: 5-16
In today's reading we come across the instructions given by Lord Jesus to His blessed Apostles, prior to sending them for the trial work of gospelization. The first condition set by our Lord is that they should not go to the gentiles or the Samaritans and only to the lost sheep of Israel.
In Isaiah 53:6 we read, "All we have gone astray like the lost sheep; we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Here Prophet Isaiah makes it clear the meaning of the usage 'lost sheep'. When a human turns to his own or her own ways and desires, he or she becomes as good as a lost sheep. This is the sin committed by Adam in the Garden of Eden, where he was living in God and with God. God was his only way till he did a sin. When he became a victim of selfishness, he did a sin and he lost from his master.
In our daily lives, we all are repeating the same. Instead of selecting God's way and wish, we give priority for our own interests and ways. Hence we commit sins over sins. When we are alarmed that we are traveling in a way other than that of our Lord God, we must turn back and continue our journey through the right path. Let us think whether we do give heed to God's message of salvation? Are we not ignoring God's love, care and affection? When Adam lost his love towards God, he got the courage to disobey God. In our daily lives, how many times we are losing our love towards our Lord God? Kindly think.
Prophet Isaiah assures that all our iniquities are laid on Him. Are we cautious about this great truth? He bore all our sins and iniquities and offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross. That is why St. John is telling us, "And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love and he that dwells in love, dwells in God and he in God." (1 John 4:16) Are we not forgetting all these truths conveniently, by retaining the climax of our spiritual thoughts for the Good Friday only?
Our Lord insisted that the Apostles to preach "Kingdom of God is at hand, so repent". Are we not hearing this message since our birth? Did it make any sort of change in our life style? We should not forget that the repentance is an act of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is the power to make us repent. We should not forget that repentance is the freedom from selfishness. We must be able to leave away the selfish desires and thoughts. Unless we leave away selfishness and seek complete freedom from it, there is no meaning for our spiritual growth. On the day of Pentecost, we all were subjected to the fullness of Holy Spirit in us. If the sins are still in us, the Holy Spirit cannot stay in us. First of all we must get freedom from sins and allow the Holy Spirit to stay in us freely. How we could make sure that we are having the fullness of Holy Spirit? If Holy Spirit is in us, we will produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus did not allow them to carry gold, silver or brass in their purses. He meant that they should not worry for the worldly needs. We often ignore that our Lord is aware of all our needs. We like the prayers for our worldly needs. In our canonical prayers, granted to us by our forefathers, there are no mentions about our individual needs. That is why many of us do consider the prayers in the books as of no use. All our worldly needs will be given by our Lord God. Hence we should not worry for them.
We often forget the very truth that God has sent us to this world. He has sent us as sheep in the midst of wolves. So we must be wise like serpents and harmless like doves. (Kindly read Romans 16:19 and Ephesians 5:15)
May God bless us to have a meaningful and witnessing Christian life on earth.
Mission and Evangelization by Rev. Fr. Dr. P. C. Eapen
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