What a beautiful reunion we read about today in our first reading from Genesis 46. Jacob/Israel thought that his youngest son, Joseph, had been eaten by wild beasts. But then his other boys come back from Egypt and spill the beans about the truth of what happened. Israel was now very old, and all he wanted before he died was to see his beloved son. And so he did, in a tearful reunion.
Jesus continues speaking to His Apostles in our Gospel reading today from Matthew 10. “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” Interesting advice, huh? Still valid for you and me today. As Christians, we are like those sheep among wolves. Satan and his minions would like nothing more than to chew us up and spit us out. And if we just acted like sheep among those wolves, that is exactly what would happen. But Jesus’ advice goes further.
Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. The serpent is, of course, a symbol of Satan. Shrewd, cunning, full of guile. And Jesus tells the Apostles to be like that. Not in an evil way, of course. but we must be willing to use all the tools at our disposal to spread the Gospel. Be shrewd – when lies are put forth, expose them for what they are. Be simple – share the Gospel message of God’s love and desire for us to live holy lives; to repent of our sins and draw closer to Christ. My friend, the world needs you now more than ever. Don’t let fears and insecurities hold you back.
Father, give us the grace to evangelize in new and creative ways; to be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. Amen.
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