This is the 7th of my daily reflections during Advent. Click on the Advent Reflections link above or in the right-hand sidebar under categories to see the other posts in this series.
Today’s reading is Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5-8 (click on this link to see the complete text)
There are just two things that we can share abundantly with others and have more than we started with. Hm, sounds a bit like the few fish and loaves. Can you guess what they are? But first a few images that don’t speak directly to today’s reflection. But I like them.
So, what are thosetwo things that we can share with abundance and gain even more? Our love and our faith. Both of which we learn from the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ.
Today’s reading from Matthew has two scenes. The first scene tells us about Jesus amongst the multitude of ordinary people, healing and teaching them. He recognizes they are spiritually lost. They are without anyone to guide them towards a true understanding of God. They are desperate to hear the good news that he brings. There are so many! Jesus remarks “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few…” (Matthew 9:37). Then, in the next scene, Jesus commissions the twelve disciples, sending them out to heal and teach. He delegates his authority to them to do this. Jesus gives a number of instructions including “you received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8). The Good News (Gospel), God’s teaching, God’s healing, none of these can be bought or sold. All Jesus does, he does out of love and faith.
These scenes remind me that all of God’s gifts are freely and extravagantly given. That’s the tenuous connection with today’s photographs. They show a few of God’s amazing gifts that are free to us all.
I am also reminded, in the first scene, that many people today are lost spiritually. Many I believe are desperately thirsty to hear good news. Unfortunately we Christians have often told the Good News but demonstrated something entirely different in the way we conduct ourselves.
This Advent I need to reflect on how to proclaim the Good News, not just by my words, but in my actions. People today are rightly sceptical of authority and anyone selling something. How do we learn to share our faith by giving it away and not trying to sell it or force it on someone. I think it’s about offering an invitation, not by telling people what they should or should not do, or how they should live. The hibiscus invites us to look and see its beauty. It makes no other demands. And yet, somehow, the experience changes me.
To see the complete Advent series please click on Advent Reflections link at the top of the page or in the right-hand sidebar under categories