Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 41:55-57.42:5-7a.17-24a; Matthew 10:1-7)
Matthew begins his gospel with a list of names tracing the lineage of Jesus. He starts with Abraham, the receptor of God’s promise to create a chosen people, and ends with Jesus, whom Christians believe culminates that promise’s fulfilment. Matthew mentions a few women – like Rahab and Ruth -- whose extraordinary circumstances indicate God’s hand guiding the process despite the people’s shortcomings.
In today’s gospel Matthew provides another list of names. In one sense, these twelve men provide a counterweight to those of the previous list. As the Old Testament figures lead up to Jesus, the apostles will carry Jesus’ name to the world. In another sense, however, they are similar to Jesus’ ancestors. Many of them seem unlikely group to carry out the work of growing an institution. Once again we have a sense of God’s direction.
We should see ourselves as part of still another list of people connected to Jesus with similarities to the ones already mentioned. As the first group comprised Jesus’ ancestors, we are his spiritual descendants. And like the apostles we are called by Jesus to bring growth to his Church by caring for one another and by professing Jesus’ name wherever we go.