Go first to the deepest places in you…

        

Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Matthew 10.5-7

LUKE’s GOSPEL is all about Apostleship being lived and worked out on the road, taking the Way of Christ to the people, but Matthew is about, in the words of Alexander John Shaia, “climbing the great mountain” and the transformation within that is necessary for the mission on the road to be effective. We can dream up strategies and concepts that might pass for mission on levels of philosophy, politics or social engagement, but without climbing the mountain to dwell in and from the Holy Temple in us, that mission will not be the Missio Dei, God’s Mission. We will not have the strength or stamina to sustain the mission and it will ultimately fail those to whom it is directed and exhaust the missionary physically, mentally and spiritually, often leading to collapse and nervous breakdown. Of course, the mountain may appear at this point but Matthew’s Gospel is a calling and an equipping for us to climb the mountain before we speak, act and teach. It should be said that we must continue to come to the mountain after the first climbing. The Way of Christ is not a straight line but rather a spiral of returning and growing, learning and teaching.

     Matthew’s version of Jesus’ instruction to “Go… Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” is a call to first go to the deep and dark places within ourselves. The Gentiles and Samaritans of the external are to be let go of for now, all the thoughts and programmes, even the charitable and noble ones. Travel inside and find the “lost sheep of Ish (human) ra’ah (who sees) el (God)” and bring them home. Matthew’s is a Gospel of waking up: “Cure the sick…that which is sick in you…wake up!.. raise the dead…that which is not alive in you…wake up!.. cleanse the lepers, cast out demons…in you…wake up!”

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on June 11, 2020.

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