Jesus sends the apostles out to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
These “lost sheep” are described in the first reading as a people of “divided heart”, who have turned from God to rely on their own riches and giftedness to take care of them. This has not worked for them, and now they have become cynical and despairing.
The prophet Hosea ends his diagnosis of their malady with a prescription: what they need is seek out God and His saving justice. In this will be their healing.
Jesus’ sending of the apostles to preach the good news of the kingdom, heal sickness and drive away evil is like the “happily ever after” of the story begun in the first reading. Here is God’s saving justice come to His people! In it, we can see the faithful love of God for His unfaithful people, which is the essence of the good news that the apostles will proclaim.
What about us? After His resurrection, Jesus commissioned those same apostles to take the good news “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). His saving justice, His faithful love are available to us too. But do we know our need?
How are we a people of “divided heart”? Are there areas of our lives where we have turned from God to rely on our own riches and giftedness to take care of us? Are there parts of us that have become cynical and despairing?
Lord Jesus, open our hearts to the good news of your faithful love for us. Show us where it is that we need to turn back to you and receive your saving justice and healing in our lives.