First Reading: Hos 10:1-3. 7-8. 12; Psalm: 105 R. v. 4b; Gospel: Mt 10:1-7
OUR DIFFERENCES DO NOT COUNT
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The twelve men whom Jesus chose to be his apostles were men who ordinarily won’t mingle or relate with one another due to their differences, interests and background.
Matthew the tax collector was hated by the larger public because he extorted the people. Simon the zealot would have ferociously attacked Matthew on a normal day because ‘zealots’ were very religious Jews who were fanatical in protecting the interest of their people or anything that would compromise their faith. They can even kill for this. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were unlearned poor fishermen who ordinarily are below the class of Matthew who was rich and learned. Bartholomew was righteous and moderate unlike the fanatics who were forceful and unforgiving. It is amazing how Jesus managed to bring these men together.
We can imagine the inevitable conflicts they would have experienced in that initial stage of coming together and the struggle in accommodating one another during their formation years. The arguments, fights, scorn, prejudices, conflicts of interest and their likes. Jesus must have patiently tolerated all these as he groomed these men to become what he wanted them to be. This is an obvious testament that no matter our differences we can still work together.
Interestingly, these men who initially may have struggled to mingle together peacefully are the same men that Jesus would used to reconcile our world marred by racial and religious sentiments. So as members of Christ’s body, not minding our race, tribe, status, or colour, we can still work together. We need to look beyond our differences and self interests to see the love of Christ that compels us? If we can’t do this, then we need to re-examine our faith again. Until our faith in Christ overrides our divisive interests, we cannot really do much for God.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray that we may be one not minding our differences. Amen.