The evangelist Matthew uses the expression “Kingdom of heaven” rather than “Kingdom of God.” He does this in respect to the sensitivities of his Jewish converts who have been taught not to mention or pronounce the name of God. Even today, modern Jews write G-d if they have to.
At the start of his ministry, the first words of Jesus are, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (4:17). Then his first act is to call his first disciples. Now Jesus summons these disciples to become the Twelve apostles. Their names are mentioned in the Gospel reading. He gives them power to drive out demons and heal the sick. Jesus sends them to bring the Good News to the people of Israel.
When Jesus calls, he also sends. If we want to be called Christians or members of the Church, then we should be prepared to be sent to give witness to the power and mercy of God. Without activity that advances the interests of God, we cannot call ourselves disciples of Christ. We cannot help but proclaim, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Gospel • MATTHEW 10:1-7
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.