JULY 9. Ord Time B. Wk.14 Fri. Mt.10 16-23
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves.
‘Beware of men: they will hand you over to sanhedrins and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the pagans. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; because it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you. ‘Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved. If they persecute you in one town, take refuge in the next; and if they persecute you in that, take refuge in another. I tell you solemnly, you will not have gone the round of the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.’
In today’s Gospel Jesus gives a remarkable description of how he sees the world in which his Apostles would be working; - and it also appears applicable to the world in the twenty-first century; - “Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; - so be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves!”
But immediately after this damning description of “the World,” he goes on to call on them to have Faith in this difficult environment; - “do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes; - because it is not you who will be speaking;- but the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you!”
He told the Apostles (the founders of the Church) to have confidence in “The Spirit of the Father,” who would be dwelling with them, and in them; - The Holy Spirit!
This is not an easy concept for Christians to understand, absorb, and put our trust in, but this is because since the day of our birth we have been taught and experienced only the material or physical world. Here Christ begins to speak of a spiritual world and a spiritual “Life;” - where the material experiences we have had on earth will not only have no part; - but will disappear!
And after telling his Apostles to have Faith in the Holy Spirit, Christ then goes on to tell them of all the difficulties and trials that they will experience in this material world; - “Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name!”
While the idea of “the Holy Spirit dwelling in us” is a difficult concept to understand; -Christ clearly wants his followers to have Faith, and to Trust in his teaching; - despite the difficulties; and trials; - and there are multiple places in the Gospel where he delivers the same message; -
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him; - and make our home in him!” (John 14. 23)
“The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name; - He will teach you all things; - and bring to your memory all that I have said to you!” (John 14.26)
And there are two areas where we can experience this “spiritual life” on a daily basis; - when we Pray and when we Love; - two activities that are at the front and centre of our earthly life!
Gospel Acclamation Jn16:13,14:26
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will teach you all truth,
and bring to your mind all I have told you.