Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Jesus commands His apostles to make this proclamation, accompanying it with signs and wonders that prove their words, for no longer does sickness, death, leprosy and the demonic rule the world but rather the Word of God. No longer is money a compensation for labor; rather one’s sustenance is, as for Jesus, to do the will of the Father. His laborers are to take no money for their deeds, for who could repay the Father for His love? Who could begin to compensate the infinite outpouring of God’s goodness?
Jesus goes on to give sound advice regarding where they are to stay: stay with someone whose heart is open to the truth, someone who recognizes the value of what you do. He tells them to wish peace upon that house, another foreshadow of when Jesus would burst into the Upper Room and give the Apostles His own peace which is, as we’ve come to know, the Holy Spirit: the very Person of God’s Love.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you…for those who reject the Apostles, Jesus words seem harsh, but consider the full reality of what transpires when someone rejects an Apostle sent by Christ. If they are sent in His name, then to reject an Apostle is to reject Christ. Christ lays this out very clearly in Luke 10:16 when He says, “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” That is why it will be more tolerable in the land of those infamous twin cities than for a town that rejects those sent to it by Christ. For Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their wickedness; a town that rejects Christ rejects God altogether and the rejection of God is the very definition of Hell.
This should alarm us; Jesus is not trying to frighten us into submission but is rather warning us of what is at stake when we choose to serve Him: souls are at stake. This is as life-or-death as it gets! But considering the reward is it not all worthwhile? If we who have come to know the love of the Father wish to make some sort of recompense in gratitude for all He has done, what better way than to help others come to know His love as well? Do not be afraid!