14th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Hos 10:1–3, 7–8, 12
Israel was a spreading vine, rich in fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; the more his land prospered, the more he adorned his sacred stones.
Their heart is divided! They shall pay for it. Their altars will be thrown down and their sacred stones broken to pieces.
Now they say, “We have no king (because we have no fear of God) and what good would a king do us?”
As for the king of Samaria, he has been carried off like foam on water.
The idolatrous high places—the sin of Israel—will be destroyed. Thorn and thistle will creep over the altars. Then they will say to the mountains: “Cover us,” and to the hills: “Fall on us.”
Plow new ground, sow for yourselves justice and reap the harvest of kindness. It is the time to go seeking Yahweh until he comes to rain salvation on you.
Gospel: Matthew 10:1-7
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority over the unclean spirits to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon, the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, the man who would betray him.
Jesus sent these twelve on mission with the instruction: “Do not visit pagan territory and do not enter a Samaritan town. Go instead to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.
“Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near.”
When you look at the list of the “twelve disciples” you see twelve very ordinary men. There were many scribes in the country, men who were learned in the Law. But Jesus chose none of them. The Kingdom of God is open to all of us, not just to special people. He did not divide people into ordinary and special. He did not even distinguish between one thief and the other on the cross: the only one who criticized the bad thief was the good thief!
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