Scripture Reflection, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 18, 2023
Exodus 19:2-6a Romans 5:6-11 Matthew 9:36-10:8
There is something about today’s readings that reminds me of part of a prayer I often say. It is a prayer of my own making, to the Blessed Trinity.
During the part of the prayer that I specifically address to Jesus, I praise him as the Son of God and as my brother. At that moment, I think of him as a close friend and a sort of older and very much wiser brother. I think of him as my primary and most important teacher, helping me know how to live each day. Because of all the wonderful qualities that Jesus embodies, I think of him as a special kind of teacher - a mentor. One who is available to mentor each of us, all the time, everywhere.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary (4th edition) defines a mentor as a wise and loyal friend and advisor. Jesus wants to be that person, for each of us. His wisdom is unparalleled and his loyalty is such that he would - and did - die for us; dying at the very hands of those he wanted to befriend and to teach.
Jesus wants us to learn and to remember that we are profoundly, unconditionally loved; but also to realize that we are responsible for teaching - and in some cases - for mentoring those with whom we interact - lovingly and loyally teaching them, by word and by action, how to live as Christians. As the last line of today’s gospel passage reminds us: “Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give.” Wow! As prospective mentors, we have a lot to ponder - a lot to think about and pray about! What does it mean to be a mentor for Jesus Christ? Am I willing to give it a try? If so, how will I go about it?
by: Bill Miller