Pentecost +5 – Year A
Matthew 9:35-10:8, (9-23)
What might be the good news of the presence of G*D? We hear about proclamations and healings, but the good news standing behind them is that of compassion for folks who are harassed and helpless, confused and aimless.
The field in need of compassion is huge, larger than one would hope. It takes all the compassion I have, and then some. It takes all the compassion a village has at its disposal. Villages that raise compassionate children, still find the need for this gift to be too big, never-ending. A danger is compassion-fatigue and so it is important to travel with support (as mentioned elsewhere as being sent two-by-two).
So, really, Jesus sends those who had experienced his compassion out to be compassionate. The way their compassion was acted out and reported on repeated the external tasks of witnessing and making whole, but the real good news was simply folks being present with folks in a compassionate manner.
Of course compassion is a political act and counter-cultural act in today’s world (beware of those claiming to be compassionate too glibly) and so one does need to keep alert to the resistant forces. This is not to shy away from them, but to judiciously decide where to engage and where to wait (both being compassionate responses when paid attention to).
Truly, when we are acting compassionately we are in the presence of an incarnation of G*D, a beloved one, and it turns out to be us. In this presence the code language comes true, the “Son of Man” has come again. Go forth to be compassionate and let the rest fall where it may.