Sunday, June 15, 2008
Jesus Went About All the Cities and Villages
In the Gospel of Matthew 9:35-10:8, the reading opens up with Jesus on his pilgrimage: Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them ,because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. The he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into God's harvest.'"
Fantastic! When I saw that this was the reading for this coming Sunday, and heard it read aloud, I thought to myself, "I need to read this more often on pilgrimage." I know that reading and hearing these passages in context, or different contexts, matters. Imagine hearing these words read while on pilgrimage to Santiago, or in Jerusalem, or in St. Patrick's Purgatory. The one who is the embodiment of the kingdom, the realm, the dominion of God, going around on his earthly pilgrimage teaching spontaneously in synagogues in the countryside, or talking in open meadows to those who were simply eager to hear the good news and see the good news in action.