First Reading: Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyre’ne, Man’a-en a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 98:1-6
O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
Gospel: Matthew 10:7-13
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. Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart. As you enter the house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
“And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.”
Go. And, do. Jesus tells His disciples to not only preach the gospel but to live it. And, not just to live it but to be the kingdom of heaven for others.
It is second-nature for me to tell others why I love my faith. And, I even know what God asks of us in terms of living out that faith. The difficult part for me? The doing it.
Sure, I tend to my sick husband and little ones at home. I clothe and shelter them. And, I truly try to live my daily life for their needs (when I am at my best). Some days, that is all I manage to do for God. But, what about the interruptions? What about the unexpected visitors? What about the phone calls when all you really have time for is playing catch-up with daily tasks?
Those are the exact moments when we can be the kingdom of God for others. It’s in those interruptions, when I’m most likely to heave a huge audible sigh and roll my eyes, that God wants my attention. It’s when visitors show up who weren’t on my calendar that I can either chose to make time for or I can leave lacking because of my upset schedule. It’s the person on the other end of the line who God has placed in my life, in that particular moment, for me to show His love. Will I?
More often than not, we do not have to seek opportunities to be the kingdom of God for others. We just have to become more aware of those already present in our daily lives, seeing them for what they are.
Today, instead of instantly tensing up at the onset of an interruption in my well-planned day, I will welcome it. I will seek to know what purpose it has in my day. And, I will take it as an opportunity to live the Gospel . . . to ‘heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons’ in whatever way He asks me.
Tomorrow, it will come more naturally.
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That interruption that is bound to present itself today . . . welcome it as a chance to be God for others.
Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of four young kids. She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.