Daily Gospel Reflection

July 14, 2024


God Loves Collaboration

6 min


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Gospel

Mk 6:7-13


And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” So they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

Readings are from Dynamic Catholic’s New Testament Bible: RSV Catholic Edition

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Transcript


God Loves Collaboration

Who's the best partner you've ever had? What's the best team you've ever been on? When we're on a team, when we're working on something with someone, or you've got a great tennis partner, whatever it is, there's something just magical about that when things just come together. When you see a band play-- sometimes bands, they're a bit rusty. You can tell they haven't been practicing. But when a great band plays, and they play together, they're really tight, it's a powerful experience both for them and for us. Who's the best partner you ever had? God wants the answer to that question to be him. If you study the relationship between God and humanity throughout history, what God is most interested in is collaboration. He's not interested in being a dictator. He's not interested in saying, "You've got to do this, and you've got to do that, and this is how it's going to be, and I'm going to override your free will here and do this." No. He's interested in collaboration. You look at all the great moments throughout salvation history, you look at all the great moments between God and humanity, they're all moments of phenomenal collaboration. None more powerful than the collaboration between God and Mary. God could have sent his son to the world. He didn't need to send his son to the world through the womb of a woman, but he chose to. Why? Because he loves collaborating with humanity. He loves collaborating with you. He wants to collaborate with you and with me. And he wants to collaborate with us in powerful ways. This reading is really a reading of collaboration. It's a reading of care, of concern, of compassion, and of collaboration.

Jesus says to the disciples, "Guys, you're stressed out. You're burnt out. There's a lot going on. A lot of people coming and going. Everyone wants to be healed." And he says, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place with me and rest for a while." It's interesting, isn't it? Because most of the burden was on Jesus, but he's the one with the care and the concern and the compassion. And he's saying to the disciples, "Guys, come away. Come away. Let's find a lonely place, a quiet place, a peaceful place so you can rest for a while." They got in a boat, and they went to a lonely place by themselves. But when they got to the other side, people heard they'd coming. People had traveled there themselves. In landing, Jesus saw a great throng of people, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Sometimes people will say-- they'll be talking about someone, and something's going on in their life, and they'll say, "Wow, that person's just lost." We all are from time to time, but there's more to that. They're lost, but they're lost without a shepherd. They're like sheep without a shepherd. We see people like this all around us in the modern world, sheep without a shepherd. They're just wandering around aimlessly. They don't know who they are, they don't know what they're here for, they don't know where they are, they don't know where they've come from, and they don't know where they're going. Desperately in need of leadership, desperately in need of the God of all creation to say, "Hey, this is who you are. You're not an orphan of the world; you are a son or daughter of God. This is what you're here for. Life has meaning and purpose. You have this incredible capacity for goodness. Go out into the world, unleash that capacity for goodness." Jesus looks at the crowd, He says, "Wow, they're like sheep without a shepherd." He has great compassion for them. And so He begins to teach them many things. He begins to teach them many things. And after a while, his disciples come to Him and say, "Hey, Jesus, getting late. There's 5,000 people here. We haven't got any food. Send them away. Send them away so they can get some food, take care of themselves." Jesus says to them, "You give them something to eat." The disciples are like, "Come on, Jesus. We don't have that kind of food." Jesus says, "How many loaves do you have?" They come back, they say, "We've got five loaves and two fishes." Blesses them, breaks them up, feeds the 5,000. Did He need their five loaves and two fishes? No, He certainly did not. Could have manifested that out of thin air. But He invited them into it. Why? Because He loves collaborating with humanity. He loves collaborating with you, with me. Who's the best partner you ever had? If the answer isn't God, something wonderful is about to happen if you open yourself up to it. He wants to collaborate with you in powerful, powerful ways. Question is, will we make ourselves available to this astounding collaboration?

July 14, 2024