Daily Gospel Reflection – Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words-- go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus sent the twelve to evangelize the countryside. To evangelize is to proclaim Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. When this kerygma, this Paschal Mystery, is not at the heart of the project, Christian evangelization effectively disappears, devolving into a summons to bland religiosity or generic spirituality.
When Jesus crucified and risen is not proclaimed, a beige and unthreatening Catholicism emerges, a thought system that is, at best, an echo of the environing culture. Peter Maurin, one of the founders of the Catholic Worker movement, said that the Church has taken its own dynamite and placed it in hermetically sealed containers and sat on the lid.
In a similar vein, Protestant theologian Stanley Hauerwas commented that the problem with Christianity is not that it is socially conservative or politically liberal but that "it is just too damned dull"! For both Maurin and Hauerwas, what leads to this attenuation is a refusal to preach the dangerous and unnerving news concerning Jesus risen from the dead.