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The good news for the day July 8

Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time (387)

Jesus addressed his best dozen students: “Look, I am sending you out like sheep in among wolves; so you need to be sneaky as snakes and yet artless, as doves are. Watch out for people, though, because people will put you in the hands of civil authorities and persecute you in houses of prayer; you will be led before civil magistrates and higher authorities for my sake—to express what kind of person I am to them—and to those who do not share your faith. Once they have you in their control, do not worry about how you are going to speak or what you are going to say. You will be given what to say in that instance; it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10)

One principle that emerges time after time is to choose poverty, simplicity and humility over self-satisfaction, pride and the control of others. You are to serve, avoid hypocrisy, and watch out for the dangers of accumulation. You can expect to find yourself victim of more powerful-minded folks—those convinced of their ideology, those who govern, and those who have reached a spirit, or state, where no conversion or repentance is possible.

In defending yourself, you are not to have bible verses—not logic, nor education, nor experience—to argue when people challenge you. It is your Spirit—the Father’s creative and loving Spirit, the Spirit—the attitude—of Jesus–that influences you. It is simple: You are here not to reach the righteous, nor help the hypocrite, nor “un-smug” smug self-confident people. Leave wolves alone. You are here to heal the harmed—to share the disdain, shame and laughter common people endure. You are here as an “unprofitable servant” serving others’ needs. You are here to recognize the Coming of Jesus in a drunken failure, an autistic-stigmatized family, a pregnant teen, a felon, a lonely vet, an abandoned, abused wife, a swindler, a very tired father—or an insecure grandfather. When others see you and your involved care for such people (“how stupid!”)—they often laugh, and sometime get you arrested when you offer a courageous demonstration of your love. And yet—such is THE Good News.

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