Challenges for Disciples Like Us

12 July 2006: Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time
Matthew 10, 1-7: Sending of the Disciples

Once there was a farmer who pleaded with God saying, “Lord, would you let me have control of the weather for one year? I think that I could raise a good quality of wheat.” The Lord agreed. “Just tell me what you want,” he said. The farmer said, “I want sun,” and the sun came out. After sometime he said, “Let there be rain,” and rain fell. For a whole year, the farmer had sun and rain whenever he wanted it.

When the wheat was tall and ready for the harvest, the farmer beamed with satisfaction, but when he cut the first stalks of wheat, his heart sank. The wheat stalks were practically empty. “What did I do wrong?” he asked the Lord.

The Lord said, “You never asked me for strong winds and fierce storms --- these are the things that make tall wheat strong and sturdy. You asked only for what was pleasant, that was your mistake.”

There are some people, when they do their Morning Prayer say this to God, “O Lord, don’t send me challenges today, no surprises, no hurts.”

While others say, “What are the challenges you are going to send me today?” These are the people who welcome opportunities to grow, the way a good wheat crop needs strong winds.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus called the disciple by name and sent them out to the lost sheep and to proclaim the Gospel. However, serving the Lord needs courage and strength. A good doctor underwent rigorous training. Our faith deepens in the midst of temptation. We can’t get pure gold unless it is tried in intense fire; or diamonds unless carbon is subject to great friction and polishing.

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