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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

The Healing Power of Ministry

by Fr. David M. Knight

July 10, 2024 

Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time 

Lectionary 385 

Hos 10:1-3, 7-8, 12/Mt 10:1-7  


Hosea 10:1-12 says prosperity is bad for Israel because they turn their success into worship of false gods. 


Israel is a luxuriant vine whose fruit matches its growth. The more abundant his fruit, the more altars he built; The more productive his land, the more sacred pillars he set up. 


They think a different government might solve their problems. It won’t: 


Their heart is false... Since they do not fear the LORD, what can the king do for them? 


We need to heed this when we are tempted to vote for governments that favor prosperity and power, with lip service to religion, but don’t care for the poor. When the religious and respected in Israel, the “chief priests, elders, scribes and Pharisees,” got Jesus condemned, he warned the people: 


Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when.... they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 


God often allows oppression to go unchecked; but it never goes unpunished. Those not in union with the compassionate love of God — both the governing and the governed, destroy themselves by their own heartlessness. 


Matthew 10:1-7: The “authority” Jesus gave to the Twelve when he first sent them on mission was a ministerial authority: to “expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease.” It was a healing power: not over people, but over what afflicted them. Later Jesus also gave both Peter and his disciples as a body the authority to “bind and loose,” an obscure phrase that certainly signifies the exercise of authority, but the nature and use of the authority are not specified.

[In Matthew 18:18] the whole assembly of the Church has the power that is given to Peter in 16:19, and it should be noted that the acts of the Church in Acts are always the acts of the whole Church, not of its officers. 


“Power corrupts.” But power used collaboratively, in union and prayerful dialogue with the community, becomes ministerial rather than controlling; self-effacing, as placing one within the community rather than self-exalting as placing one “above” it. Those who use power to heal, above all to heal the division between “high” and “low,” the voiced and the voiceless, are using power for ministry.  


Initiative: Be Catholic. Preserve unity by protecting diversity.

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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