10 Jul 2015 (Based on Mt 10:16-23)

A sunny day…
As the sun was casting its bright rays on the earth, a loud voice thundered – with might and power:
“Who gives a man speech and makes another deaf and dumb?
Or who gives sight to one and makes another blind?
Is it not, I….?

Go, then….
It is I who will assist you in speaking and will teach you what you are to say…”

Another sunny day…
As the sun was shining bright, the same loud voice thundered – yet again, with might and power:
“Say not, “I am too young…
To whomever I send, you shall go…
Whatever I command, you shall speak!
Have no fear… because I am with you, to deliver you!”

These two dialogues record two instances of “Great Assurances” that were offered to two Great People – Moses and Jeremiah – as seen in Ex 4: 11-12 and Jer 1: 7-8 – by the Great Yahweh!

These two persons – Moses and Jeremiah – one, the law-giver and the other a prophet – had some similarities…
..They were entrusted with great tasks…
… They both expressed their inability in speech…
… They both were, however, given assurances of strength and courage!

A task that is entrusted by the Lord is always blessed by Him, with His assurance of courage and strength!
 The larger the responsibility… the greater would be the grace
 The tougher the task.. the bigger would be the blessing

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful expression of this same assurance that Jesus offered to His Apostles and to each one of us, who are called to be a Missionaries and Proclaimers of the Kingdom of God.

The Lord sends His Apostles on the mission journey and gives them various instructions in this participation of the Divine Activity.

Jesus was a very practical and realistic person.

When He sends the Apostles on the mission journey…
… He doesn’t promise a comfortable and cosy time
… He doesn’t make fanciful securities and spectacular guarantees.

Instead…
… He presents the ground reality and the actual facts of the task.

He says that, “Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Mt 10:16)

This imagery of the “sheep and the wolves” that the Lord used for the Apostles would have probably filled them with panic and fright.

They were well aware what was the condition of the sheep, when they encountered the wolves…

The wolf – the predator is an expert in stealth and is rarely noticed by the sheep.
As the sheep graze, predator’s strategy is simple -it attacks the young or weak that are on the outer-edge of the flock.
This causes a sudden panic in the whole flock!

The sheep would cry… but their cry would hardly be heard!

Their voices after a loud shriek, would begin to choke!

The Apostles, who were well-familiar and had witnessed the sheep-grazing patterns in their land, were aware of this aspect, when the Lord said, “I send you as sheep among wolves…”

And perhaps, a jolt of fear would have run down their spine….

Just like Moses had felt a sense of difficulty in taking up the task that Yahweh had entrusted…
Just like Jeremiah had experienced a wave of fear when Yahweh appointed him as a prophet…
So the disciples could have also felt a sense of worry or even apprehension…

But just like Yahweh had assured them of His strength and grace, the Lord also assures His apostles in this state of fear: ” When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Mt 10: 19-20)

How often do we also find ourselves in situations of hardships and difficulties, in our task of being a True Christian…
• We feel fearful to open our mouths when we witness incidents of corruption..
• We fear to let ourselves be heard when values of Christ are compromised…
• We find ourselves shut to speak when we encounter acts of injustice…

But in all such situations, the Lord assures us that we need to bank on His strength and grace for courage!

What is needed from our part…
… is a total dependence and trust in His power
… is a communion with His Spirit and faith in His Father
… is a willingness to act according the Plans and Will of the Lord

The world today is growing to be menacingly fierce…
And as Christians, we are sometimes like “sheep among the wolves”

May we learn to be, with the grace of the Lord, “to be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves” (Mt 10:16)

May we grow in our understanding that a task that is entrusted by the Lord is always blessed by Him, with His assurance of courage and strength!
 The larger the responsibility… the greater would be the grace!
 The tougher the task.. the bigger would be the blessing!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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