Hosea 11:1-4,8-9, Ps. 80:2-3,15-16, Matthew 10:7-15
“And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.” (Matthew 10:7-8)
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says, “Preach as you go” meaning that our very lives are loud sermons. Everything we do from dusk to dawn is preaching. Even what we do in secret is preaching. When we let our light shine by good works, we are preaching. When our actions betray our values and what we stand for, we are also preaching. Even when we have to use words to preach, we must ensure our actions do not, later on, contradict our words.
Hosea today speaks about the love of God for Israel and the fact that despite how much Israel as a nation has prostituted itself before Baal, God’s love still remained steadfast. Hosea’s very life demonstrated the extent of God’s love for us. God instructed Hosea to marry an unfaithful wife whom he had to welcome back each time she left him. Hosea speaking on God’s behalf says; “my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger… for I am God and not a man… and I will not come to destroy.”
Preaching is not all about words alone. It is a whole ministry that comprises freeing people from the darkness that imprisons them; the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of sickness, spiritual death, and demonic possession. Hence Jesus added, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.”
Preaching begins on the pulpit but it is only complete when the minister reaches out to touch the sick, the dead, the lepers, and those possessed. That is why the laborer in God’s vineyard is called to go out to meet the people where they are, to visit their homes.
Nonetheless, these visitations should never be limited only to the homes of the rich neither should the laborer complain when he is sent to an area where he has to attend to the needs of the poor. As Jesus puts it: “You received without pay, give without pay, take no gold, nor silver, nor copper. No bag, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff.”
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, use me every day that as my life continues to preach, what it says may be pleasing to your ears. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Thursday of week 14 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Hosea 11:1-4,8-9, Ps. 80:2-3,15-16, Matthew 10:7-15)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu