Saints of God, the Lord be with you!
Words from the second reading (Romans 5:6-11) jumped out at me as if I had never read them before: “…God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” God proves his love as if the beauty of creation isn’t enough. God proves his love as if being isn’t enough. God proves his love as if having intellect, memory, and will isn’t enough. God proves his love as if being created in the image and likeness of God isn’t enough. I could go on, but you get the point. If God seems to think that he needs to prove his love for us, it is not due to any deficiency on God’s part. The deficiency is ours.
Perhaps the Church has these readings following the great solemnities of Pentecost, the Most Holy Trinity, the Body and Blood of Christ, and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to remind us, or try to convince us, that God is continually loving us, and inviting us into an ever increasingly intimate relationship with him, his people, and indeed all of creation. Perhaps the Church has these readings to allay any doubt, fears, or feelings of unworthiness on our part. Indeed, we are all unworthy and isn’t that the whole point of grace? It is an unearned blessing.
I try to imagine a thirteenth disciple in today’s Gospel according to Matthew (9:36-10:8). The twelve who are named as apostles are those who trusted that Jesus knew what He was doing. They trusted that He knew who He was sending. and trusted that Jesus knew their gifts and limitations. So they went, although I imagine with some trepidation. The thirteenth disciple is the one who didn’t trust enough, maybe saw only their limitations, did not feel\ up to the task, or felt unworthy. I see in today’s Gospel Jesus proving his love for them by TRUSTING THEM, and having FAITH IN THEM, and their abilities to spread his mission.
Do we ever think about the fact that Christ TRUSTS US with carrying on the faith in our own times and in our own little corner of the world?
…but then, if you are reading this, I’m preaching to the choir.
God proves his love for us, and we in turn prove (or show or respond to) our love for God by “carrying out his holy and true commands” (St. Francis); that is by loving our neighbor and God’s creation.
Peace and All Good,