God is a God of mercy. We see this today in the first reading from Hosea 11. “My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger.”
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the Twelve, instructing them on how to conduct themselves. At the end, He says, “Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” This “shaking the dust” was a symbolic gesture that Jews did when leaving Gentile territory and reentering the Holy Land. For the Twelve, this signified judgement on those who reject the Gospel.
Many today reject the Gospel. The spirit of the age is so pervasive, and has caused so many to turn their backs on the “antiquated ways” of Jesus. I’m sure there have been times when you have had to “shake the dust” regarding someone. You try and you try, but you just can’t seem to break through. I have found this to be necessary when a relationship is causing me to become mean, bitter and nasty. Perhaps you have left a job because of this sort of thing. This can be one of life’s toughest decisions. But sometimes you just gotta move on. We must always remember…even when we have to “shake the dust,” we must never stop praying for those people who reject the truth. Perhaps God will send someone else that can break through.
Father, keep us fervent and help us to persevere in preaching the Gospel. Send someone to those from whom we have had to shake the dust from our feet, that they might hear and believe. Amen.