The Kingdom of Heaven is Close at Hand

– 14th Week in Ordinary Time –

Jesus summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.                [Matthew 10:1]

Yesterday we reflected on the healing power of Jesus; today, we hear that this same power, the authority over unclean spirits, is given to the twelve. This group had been on the road with Jesus as he healed, forgave and freed those who encountered him. It was almost like an apprenticeship, walking with Jesus, listening to him and coming to understand this kingdom of God so close to his heart.

Now Jesus entrusted them with the same mission. So we too, through Baptism, have been entrusted with this mission. Well, I might say, I’m not one of ‘the twelve’, and I’m certainly not Jesus! So how can I possibly effectively engage in this mission?

Maybe the first step is to take the time to be on the road with Jesus, watching him, listening to him, speaking with him. We then begin to see others through his eyes and to know them through his heart. Opportunities arise in our daily lives to cast out the demons of prejudice and hatred. We find words that speak of peace and reconciliation, of respect and inclusion. We loosen the tongues of others as they are encouraged to tell their stories; we heal the blindness that prevents us all from really living in communion with each other and with our created world.

And as we walk along the road of life with Jesus, we too have the kingdom of God close to our heart. Let’s get going!



by Kari Hatherell osu

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