I can’t help but think how this vase of flowers is like those Jesus chose to be invested with his authority – so different yet very similar – but both men and flowers all needing life giving water. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us their names and sends out twelve. (Matthew 10:1-7).
These flowers have many differences – size, odor, shape, age, color and texture. They also share commonalities – stems, petals, cells, need for sunlight and that they will all die off at some point being separated from their roots.
You chose, Jesus, men of different backgrounds, regions, vocations, size, weight,
families and demeanor. Some would die early, leave, question, doubt, travel far, become a martyr and teach others to be leaders. You marked each one as your disciple regardless as to likenesses or differences, and you instructed them to not go into pagan territory, but instead to the house of Israel. They were to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, drive out unclean spirits, cure diseases and illnesses.
Who are these disciples today Lord? Is it just your Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Ministers? Or is it the laity as well? Yesterday you called for laborers to help with the harvest – and I believe that meant us – we the people in the pews who come to follow you in our daily life. Today you outline those first disciples – you gave them specific fields to harvest – and like most things in life there is a priority order to how to accomplish something of great value. The scripture from the old testament (Hosea 10:1-3,7-8,12) foretold that greed for comfort and goods can slip a good man up for eternal damnation. Yes, all things in proportion to the gifts given Lord, the question is posed to me how well do I use these things you bless me with and with whom I share – this Lord is what I glean today.
I am often tickled pink in seeing how much you show us your love – something even as simple as these beautiful flowers, blue skies, eyes that smile or offer love and the laugh of an infant. You created all this, you gave us this without hesitation and filled our world with countless – truly countless more sights, sounds, smells I encounter every single day. Oh Lord, your goodness and kind ways are always to help us. Today in Psalm 105 we read how you outline the bridge of greed and giving – hardships and ease – sorrow and joy – faith and works – love and hatred. Our strength comes from you as we seek you, as we serve in faithfulness. We are your people, the ones you came and died for so that we would have eternal life with you in heaven; you know us by name, every hair on our head, everything about us.
What more can we do for you? What does being your disciple within my vocation look like in the ways of faith and works? Help me Lord, to chose your will, your plan, and to rely upon the strength of your grace. Help me to go to the poor and needy, sick and diseased – those who do not know of your goodness and so you are seen instead of me. May you increase, as I decrease; words spoken so well by St. John the Baptist.
Show me the work of my hands that honors you, Lord, today and all the days of my life.