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Jesus sends the Apostles c.1300 Duccio Di Buoninsegna

Jesus Sends the Apostles – Duccio di Buoninsegna, c.1300

1Jesus summoned His twelve disciples….and said: 7As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give….11Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. 12As you enter a house, wish it peace. 13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.” (Mt 10:1, 7-13, NAB)

It’s been two and a half months since I’ve posted. I’d like to say my busy-ness has been a factor but, honestly, I haven’t felt inspired. I had three posts in four days back in April and then….nothing, not an idea, not a sign, nada. Looking back, I’m sure God spread many gems of Grace in my path but in my blindness all I saw was a gravel pit.

Fast forward to this week and suddenly I feel as though I’m drinking from a fire hose. It’s like a divine thirst quenching and God will only close the valve when He knows I am sated. Everywhere I look I see with acute clarity God working in my life: events, conversations, images, ideas, scripture, people I’ve met. I sense God telling me, “Son, I’m giving you a plethora of inspiration, now do something with it!”

But, where do I begin? I was pondering this question yesterday afternoon when I finally had a chance to read the last two day’s scripture passages. As I read the Gospel, Mt 10:1-15, it became clear where to start: heed Christ’s command to “Go”. Go and spread the Word. Jesus summoned me three years ago in my Confirmation and asked me then to share my faith with others, a directive I gladly accepted. And I have let Him down over the last 10 weeks.

I know that without cost, without asking, I have received God’s freely given Grace. My so-called “inspiration” is actually His gift to me. His expectation is for me to pass the gift along to others without cost.

Within the boundaries of my world, the sphere of influence in which I live, my opportunities to evangelize are few. This blog has been my way of spreading the Word. I know though, for the most part, that my reflections are mere preaching to the choir, that the audience I reach is already strongly Catholic.

My hope has always been that, through His Grace, my repackaging of His gift to me may reach a few who need just that little extra something to help them turn back to Him, a cure for their sickness so to speak; and occasionally reach one or two who will have a conversion experience, a driving out of demons if you will, because of a God-moment I’ve shared.

I admit I have, at times, allowed myself to become discouraged when it comes to posting and occasionally I have not posted because of it. I get few comments or feedback on my posts to tell me whether I’m connecting with my readers. I suspect that’s an indication of the quality of my content or of my writing style. But, I do the best I know how and I remind myself that I’m not in it for my ego. Thus, as I contemplated the Gospel passages above, I realized that I’m called to offer this gift with a wish of peace regardless if many choose to accept it or pass it along further. One or two is enough. And, if it’s not accepted, I need to move to the next house, or post, and let my peace return to me.

In going back to the question of, “where do I begin?” I hope to share with you several new reflections over the next few days. I hope they will cause you to reflect a moment on your own. I hope you will share them with me and others. And, I hope they bring you His peace.

God bless you all.

(Without Cost You Have Received; Without Cost You Are To Give was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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