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Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
Your priests, O Lord, shall be clothed with justice;
your holy ones shall ring out their joy. Cf. Ps 132 (131):9
Grant, we pray, O Lord,
that we may be helped by the prayers
of the Priest Saint John Damascene,
so that the true faith,
which he excelled in teaching,
Daily Meditation: Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5-8
His heart was moved with pity. (Matthew 9:36)
When Jesus saw the crowds in the towns and villages he visited, he was moved. He wanted to reach out to them with his healing and mercy. He wanted to teach them and form them. As the Son of God, he could have done any number of things on a grand scale. He could have waved his hand over the crowd and healed them all at once. Or spoken his message into the minds and hearts of each person. So what did he do? The answer shows a surprising level of humility and trust.
He sent twelve regular guys to go out on his behalf. These ordinary men wouldn’t just be involved in his ministry of healing and proclaiming the good news—they would be essential to it! Jesus took those disciples—from the Greek word meaning “student”—and made them apostles—from the word meaning “one who is sent.”
Jesus was certainly taking a risk, wasn’t he? After all, he knew that the Twelve might well fall short. So why did he do it? Clearly, he wanted to bless the crowds through them. But he also wanted to bless the apostles as they stepped out in faith and prayed for people’s healing and deliverance. He knew they would be stretched outside of what was comfortable for them, and he also knew they would see God’s amazing work as they obeyed his call.
You can take courage that Jesus is sending you out, just as he sent the apostles. He still looks at the people who are “troubled and abandoned” (Matthew 9:36), and longs to reach them. He could do something on a grand scale, something that could touch multitudes all at once. But he is sending you. He is asking you to go out with his authority to bring his mercy, healing, and forgiveness to them. And he will deepen your faith with each step you take. How could you be inspired and answer that call today?
“Jesus, I want to be your representative in the world. Work through me to bring your compassion to everyone I meet today.”
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26