Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)
35Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
10:1Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts,10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food.11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave.12As you enter the house, greet it.13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.15Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.
16“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues;18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time;20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
- Seek the wisdom and compassion deep within you.
- Jesus is sending you on a journey to find lost sheep in the world.
- All you need for the journey is within you.
- See yourself leaving the safety of the gates of the city.
- Notice what you leave behind so that you may be fully present to the sheep?
- Notice the peace that dwells within you.
- Peace that will speak.
- Peace that will comfort.
- Peace that will heal.
- When you encounter persecution, do not accept the words. Let them bounce off of your armor of God.
- When you notice the fruit of the Spirit, let the peace of God flow from you to another.
- Christ is with you on the journey. Stay awake. You will encounter the Holy One.
- What is your message from God?
- Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
- Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 14, 2020, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD
Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX. Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time. Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within. It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well. So she began to share them on this site.
As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance. If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do. Keep wrestling. God is faithful to your journey. Love and hope will emerge. Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.