14th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
Gen 41:55-57: 42:5-7a, 17-24a; Mt 10:1-7
When Jesus came to our Earth 2,000 years ago he chose to be limited by space and time. He had a human body that could be seen, heard, smelt, and felt. But that could only take place in one place and at one time. As God, he could be everywhere at the same time; but as something discernible to the senses, he was limited. So in today’s gospel passage we see him extending himself in space and time by choosing twelve Apostles. They were to be his ambassadors, his representatives. They were to be alter Christis – other Christs. We too have been chosen and sent. Jesus has willed to include us in his mission of touching souls and bringing them to his Father. We are his hands, now, and his feet and his lips. We are his smile. We are his voice. We are the sensible sign now that God loves them and cares about them.
A little story a friend sent me demonstrates the point:
A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago.
They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner.
In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen
inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples
flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to
reach the plane in time for their nearly-missed boarding…
ALL BUT ONE!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his
feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple
stand had been overturned.
He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of
them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and
explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal
where the apples were all over the terminal floor.
He was glad he did.
The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears
running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly
groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one
stopping and no one to care for her plight.
The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put
them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this,
he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he
set aside in another basket.
When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl,
“Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?”
She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, “I hope we
didn’t spoil your day too badly.”
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called
out to him, “Mister….” He paused and turned to look back into those
She continued, “Are you Jesus?”
He stopped in mid-stride … and he wondered. He gently went back and
said, “No, I am nothing like Jesus – He is good, kind, caring, loving,
and would never have bumped into your display in the first place.”
The girl gently nodded: “I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help
me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, so you are like Him – only
He knows who will do His will. Thank you for hearing His call, Mister.”
Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question
burning and bouncing about in his soul: “Are you Jesus?”
Do people mistake you for Jesus?
That’s our destiny, is it not?
To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we
live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and
If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would.
Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church.
It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.
You are the apple of His eye even though you, too, have been bruised by
a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked up you and me on a hill
called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
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