“As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 10:7).
Empowered by Jesus, the Apostles were sent to proclaim that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, that the God of all creation is present in our midst and seeks to restore a relationship with his fallen creatures. The Apostles are to continue Jesus’ saving act of restoring and healing humanity’s relationship with God, through word but more so through deed.
Salvation was to be experienced through encounter and interaction with individuals. The Apostles, followed Jesus who devoted himself to people, “accepting them, receiving them into fellowship with him and granting them forgiveness of sins. The power of his affirmation is to be found in his attention to the concrete individual, in particular to the despised, the abused, the sinner, but also involving himself with people in a very personal way… in giving himself away to them” (Gnilka 1997, 111).
We are called to do the same. Empowered by Jesus, we are sent to enter into the chaos of the lives of concrete individuals in our midst and on the margins in a very personal way. The Gospel is not just for a select few but for everyone. Let us no longer feed our fears, prejudices, and pride, but instead come to a place of contrition, sorrow for the hurt we have caused others, for our actions and omissions, for failing to reach out in love.
Jesus, help us to be more present, accepting, understanding, kind and forgiving and send us to bring your light, love, mercy, and fellowship, so to spread your proclamation: “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
Photo: Lifting one another up!
Gnilka, Joachim. Jesus of Nazareth: Message and History. Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997.