Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A personal challenge during these Advent days is to recognize just what Jesus’s invitation and call might involve for me. Who are the sick I am to “cure”? How—with a listening ear, a bright smile, a few thoughtful words—can I strengthen the heart of a family member or good friend?
And then there is Jesus’s challenging reminder that “without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Who needs a piece of my heart this weekend? Probably not in a dramatic, earth-shattering way, but more likely in the time it takes to listen, to affirm, perhaps to challenge, but always to love.
The Advent season pulls me out of my comfortable routines, my preconceptions about persons and situations. Spend some time this weekend figuring out just how “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” – in my own heart and home!
—The Jesuit Prayer team
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.
— Monastic liturgy
Please share the Good Word with your friends!