Thought for the Day – 13 July – Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:16-23.
“Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves”
Jesus’ sending disciples on mission does not guarantee their success, just as it does not protect them from failure and suffering. They have to take into account both the possibility of rejection and that of persecution. This is somewhat frightening but it is the truth.
The disciple is called to conform his life to Christ who was persecuted by men, knew rejection, abandonment and death on the cross. There is no Christian mission marked by tranquility! Difficulties and tribulations are part of the work of evangelisation and we are called to find in them the opportunity to test the authenticity of our faith and of our relationship with Jesus. We must consider these difficulties as the opportunity to be even more missionary and to grow in that trust toward God our Father, who does not abandon His children during the storm.
Even in our day, brothers and sisters, persecution against Christians is present.
Their example helps us not to hesitate in taking the position in favour of Christ, bearing witness bravely in everyday situations.
Besides sending us out as “sheep in the midst of wolves”, the Lord even in our times sends us out as sentinels in the midst of people who do not want to be woken from their worldly lethargy which ignores the Gospel’s words of Truth, building for themselves their own ephemeral truths. And if we go to or live in these contexts and we proclaim the Words of the Gospel, this is bothersome and they will look at us unkindly.
But in all this, the Lord continues to tell us, as He did to the disciples of His time: “Do not fear!”…Pope Francis (Angelus, 25 June 2017)
“When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father, speaking through you.”…Matthew 10:19-20