HAPPY 4th of JULY – GOD BLESS AMERICA
Jesus, knowing that His life on earth would end, chose apostles whom he would send out in His name to continue His mission. He tells them that: “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
The Church of Matthew’s time, after the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, particularly needed to hear what Jesus had to say about continuing His mission in their own day. Yet these instructions directed to the twelve apostles continue to have relevance in our day as we carry on the mission given Jesus by the Father.
In todays Gospel, Jesus assures His disciple that they will suffer as a result of knowing Him. As Jesus would experience persecution and rejection, so His disciples would experience comparable pain. The suffering would involve persecution from both religious and secular authorities as well as resistance and division within families. Jesus urges His followers not to be afraid of their persecutors, but to trust in God’s care for them. Taking up the cross and even losing one’s life for Jesus will be rewarded with everlasting life in the kingdom
We are His apostles and disciples today. Jesus is with us and strengthens us for our mission as His Church. May God help each of us to feel His peace and strength. May God give us the grace to trust Him each day. May God guide us in this life to the everlasting life of Heaven.