Daily Gospel – Thursday, July 11, 2024 – Matthew 10:7-15 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Hosea 11,1-4.8c-9)

Reading of the Prophecy of Hosea.

Thus says the Lord: When Israel was a child, I already loved him, and I called my son from Egypt. The more I called them, the more they moved away from me; they sacrificed to Baals and sacrificed to idols. I taught Ephraim to give first steps, I took him in my arms, but they didn’t recognize that I cared for them. I attracted them with ties of humanity, with ties of love; to eat them. My heart is moved within and burns with compassion. I will not give vent to my anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again, I am God and not man among you; and I will not use terror

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Matthew 10,7-15)

Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: On your way, proclaim: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand’. Heal the sick, raise the dead, purify lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely you must give! Do not carry gold or silver, nor money in your belts; nor bag for the journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staff, because the worker has the right to his livelihood. In any city or town you enter, find out. whoever is worthy there. Stay with him until your departure. When you enter a house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; If anyone does not receive you or listen to your word, leave that house or that city and shake off the dust from your feet. Truly I say to you, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be treated less harshly than that city on the day of. judgment.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Have you ever stopped to think about the unconditional love a father or mother has for their child? That love that persists even when the child rebels, moves away or makes mistakes? Today, the words of the prophet Hosea and the Gospel of Matthew invite us to reflect on an even greater and deeper love: God’s love for each one of us.

Let’s imagine for a moment an everyday scene: a father teaching his young son to take his first steps. The father’s strong and safe hands support the child, who, hesitantly, tries to balance himself. The patient father encourages: Come on, you can do it! The child takes a step, staggers, but the father is there, ready to support him if he falls. This familiar and touching image reminds us of Hosea’s words: I taught Ephraim to walk, I took him by the hand.

What a beautiful metaphor for God’s love! Just like that father, God teaches us to “walk” our spiritual journey. He doesn’t carry us all the time, because He wants us to grow and become stronger. But he also doesn’t abandon us to our fate. His hand is always outstretched, ready to support us when we stumble.

Hosea continues: I drew them with human ties, with cords of love. Think for a moment about the ties that unite us with the people we love. These are not chains that imprison us, but connections that strengthen us, that give us a sense of belonging and purpose. Likewise, God’s love does not limit us, but frees us to be who we were created to be.

And look what a powerful image: I was to them like someone carrying a little child in their arms. How many of us have experienced the comfort of being carried when we were little? That feeling of total security, of knowing that we are in the arms of someone who loves us unconditionally. This is how God sees us and treats us – with tenderness, with care, with infinite love.

But the passage from Hosea also shows us another side of this divine love. How shall I leave you, Ephraim? How shall I forsake you? Here we see the anguish of a God who, despite the infidelity of his people, cannot simply turn his back on them. It’s a powerful reminder that no matter how far we stray, God’s love will always reach us.

Now, let us turn our gaze to the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus sends his disciples with a mission: Proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. This proclamation is not just of words, but of actions. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.

At first glance, this may seem like an impossible task. After all, who are we to cure illnesses or raise the dead? But remember, brothers and sisters, that these words are not just about physical healing, but also about the spiritual and emotional healing that God’s love can bring.

When we reach out to someone who is suffering, offering comfort and compassion, aren’t we in a sense healing the sick? When we help someone find hope in the midst of despair, aren’t we in some way raising the dead? When we welcome those society rejects, aren’t we cleansing the lepers? And when we oppose evil with kindness and love, aren’t we casting out demons?

Jesus tells his disciples, Freely you received, freely give. What a powerful reminder that everything we have—our life, our talents, our faith—is a free gift from God. And just as we receive freely, we are called to give freely.

It makes me think about how we often try to negotiate with God. If I do this, God will give me that. But God’s love, as we saw in Hosea, doesn’t work like that. It is a free, unconditional love that demands nothing in return. Our response to this love must be equally free and generous.

Jesus also instructs the disciples not to carry “gold or silver or copper in your belts.” What a challenge for us today, living in a society that often measures a person’s worth by what they possess! We are called to trust not in our possessions or abilities, but in God who provides.

And look how interesting: Jesus tells them to stay in the house that welcomes them, eating and drinking what they offer. This speaks of a willingness to receive, not just to give. Sometimes in our desire to help others, we forget that we also need to be humble enough to receive help. Allowing others to serve us is a way of honoring them and recognizing their dignity.

Finally, Jesus talks about those who do not welcome the disciples. Shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or city. This is not an act of condemnation, but an acknowledgment that not everyone will be open to the Gospel message. We should not be discouraged when we face rejection, but continue forward, confident in God’s love.

Brothers and sisters, the message we receive today is clear: we are infinitely loved by God. A love that teaches us how to walk, that carries us when we are weak, that never abandons us. And we are called to share this love with the world.

How can we live this message in our daily lives? Maybe it’s recognizing God’s love in the little things – in a stranger’s smile, in the beauty of a sunset, in a friend’s hug. Maybe it’s by extending that love to others – through an act of kindness, a word of encouragement, a gesture of forgiveness.

May we, like the disciples, leave here today proclaiming that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Not just with our words, but with our actions. May we be instruments of God’s love, healing wounds, bringing hope, welcoming the rejected.

And always remember: no matter where we are in our journey of faith, God is there, teaching us how to walk, carrying us when necessary, loving us unconditionally. May we respond to that love with gratitude and generosity, sharing it freely with everyone we meet.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.