Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Waiting for the Reign of God

Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind. He gave them these instructions: “Go instead after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this announcement: ‘The reign of God is at hand!’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift.” (Mt 10:6-8)

This was a moment of daring for the disciples. They had seen Jesus cure the sick, raise the dead, and expel demons. They also saw him ridiculed for it. Some even accused him of being a demon himself. Still, they had to be courageous enough to reach out and let others know the reign of God had come.

What does the reign of God look like? What does it feel like? Will I know when it’s at hand? Lord, you want your disciples to be instruments of healing. If I consider myself one of your disciples, then I must become an instrument of healing, too. Perhaps I’ll never be called to miraculously cure sickness and disease or raise the dead. But there are demons that I can expel – demons of selfishness, division, and greed – and in this way I can work to heal the world around me.

Mary, you were the first disciple, bringing healing to the world around you through your selfless motherliness. Instill in me the heart of a disciple so that I may affect the healing of others.

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