Go, and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely have you received, freely give. Do not carry any gold or silver or money in your purses. Do not take a traveling bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or a walking stick: workers deserve to be compensated.
When you come to a town or a village, look for a worthy person, and stay there until you leave.
When you enter the house, wish it peace. If the people are worthy people, your peace will rest on them; if they are not worthy people, your blessing will come back to you.
And if you are not welcomed, and your words are not listened to, leave that house or that town, and shake the dust off your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than it will for the people of that town.
“Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons.” Such are the marching orders Jesus gives to his disciples (and consequently to us) in today’s gospel reading. They are as comprehensive as anyone can wish—but also quite daunting. Of course, since we all have different gifts or charisms, none of us is expected to do all that Jesus mandates his Church to do. We are meant to “specialize” in our service of our brothers and sisters, according to our natural talents and capacities.
Now a lot of Christians are not at all deterred by the formidable task confronting them—nothing less than continuing the healing ministry of Christ himself! Their problem-solving mentality, their super-active temperament and their challenge-loving personality spur them on to action. But when they encounter problems which have no solutions, they falter. Yet, what is often the greatest service they can then render is their silent, loving presence.
Yes as many psychologists tell us, often enough the most healing action we can perform for a person in pain is simply to sit silently with that person and to share that person’s pain.
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