Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7,17-24
Gospel Matthew 10:1-7

“Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority….”

Today’s Gospel passage speaks about reaching out to those who are hurt and sick. We hear Jesus sending his twelve apostles to go out and heal “every disease and every illness.” More than just a prophet, Jesus has authority not only to call back the repentant to Himself, but also to heal them.

When Jesus sends the apostles, his instructions are for them to go to “the lost sheep of the House of Israel”. In our own day, there are many fallen-away Catholics, and of course we pray for them. But we can do more for them than just pray. With the sort of love that Jesus held in His Sacred Heart when he looked at the crowds and said, “the harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few”, we can listen with compassion to those who are wounded.

We can offer gentle instructions to those who don’t know how to begin living their faith again: to begin again to receive the sacraments as gifts of grace from the apostles’ ministry. It’s the bishops’ responsibility—and the responsibility of those priests who work under their bishops—to bring those lost sheep back into the fold through the sacraments. But often, it will be ordinary Christians who point those lost sheep in the right direction.