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Good News for the Day, January 19, 2018
Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (315)

Jesus went up the mountainous area and sent for those men he wanted—and they came to him. He appointed Twelve of them–men whom he named Apostles—men who might be with him. He would send them out to preach and to have authority to help people driven by demonic forces: He named these Twelve: Simon (the one he nicknamed ­­­Peter/Rocky); James, ‘s and Zebedee, and John, James’s brother, the two of whom he nicknamed Boanerges (“Sons of Thunder”); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Alphaeus’s son; Thaddeus, Simon, a Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Mark 3)

Jesus “goes to the Mountain Top”—in the tradition of so many, but instead of talking with God, like Moses, and getting the Ten Commandments—Jesus talks with other people, and—notice—instead of gathering and making them followers or disciples or “tribal” members—he sends them out to talk to people and effect personal changes in people with demons.

Let us recall, for a moment, that the term “demon” (daimon) was a neutral name for something we tend to see as, and call, an obsessive personality, an addicted person—appreciating that a person obsessed with music, and addicted to its power may become a great composer or a gifted critic. Of course, Jesus wants to free people whose addictions and obsessions are self-destructive, dangerous, immoral and hurtful—the usual cast such compulsions—such demons—have.

in the Gospels—and in life—many people are aware of their problems: “I know I am fat; I know I drink too much; I know my weakness.” What they often need is a mentor, a partner, a caring human who nags them lovingly.

You and I are to follow Jesus, exercise His Heart of compassion and teaching and touch others with healing powers. Let us emphasize again that “spirit” means the “caring”—you show authentic, beyond-appearances, brave—caring for someone else—for their sake! You heal by love. You destroy a demon by taking the extra step. You are an Apostles on a mission, not a leaf on the rivulet of time, but a ship braving the storm. Like others who have “been on the Mountain Top,” you have heard that peace and joy lie in your fulfillment of that task—to be a compass and a rudder, to be a hand-holder and a shoulder to cry on, to be humble, brave and steady—a Way for others to find Life.

The Good News is the Joy intrinsic to that Hard Task.

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