Mass Reading & Meditation for July 10, 2013
Meditation: Matthew 10:1-7
14th Week in Ordinary Time
“The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter…” (Matthew 10:2)
A family was visiting a cathedral just as sunlight cascaded through a stained glass window depicting the twelve apostles. As the mother was telling stories about the Twelve, a priest came along and asked her son what he was looking at. “The saints,” he answered. The priest quizzed him, “And who are the saints?” The boy responded, “They’re the ones with the light shining through them.”
While we now see the shining Twelve as brave evangelists and teachers of the spiritual life, we should remember that they were all ordinary men when Jesus first met them. They came from different walks of life—educated and uneducated, rich and poor—each with his own set of “baggage.” Still, with all their strengths and weaknesses, they embraced Jesus’ call to proclaim that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 10:7). Simon was impetuous, and often spoke before he thought. James and John, whom Jesus nicknamed “Sons of Thunder,” wanted glory for themselves. Matthew was a despised tax collector. Thomas was stubborn and incredulous. And so on.
While they started off as a rather motley crew, each one gradually left his old ways behind. Rather than remain simply individuals, they became like a stained glass mosaic of unique pieces coming together to illuminate a beautiful image of their Lord. Everyone, that is, except Judas. But even here is a lesson on what can happen when we close our hearts and put ourselves ahead of Jesus and his people.
Now as then, Jesus is calling ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Do you really think you’re any worse than Peter or James or John or Matthew? What about Mary Magdalene, who had been possessed by seven demons yet became the apostle to the apostles? This is the wonder of God’s grace. He takes what is ordinary and makes it extraordinary; takes what is wounded by sin and heals it; what is fallen and lifts it up and fills it with his grace. So if you feel underqualified, don’t worry. You’re in good company! God sees your vast potential. He can do great things in and through you. Just let him.
“Jesus, I say ‘Yes!’ to you. Let your light shine through me!”
Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24; Psalm 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19