Jesus sends out the disciples – „Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 9:36-10:8 Commentary

1. Introductory prayer 

Jesus, you called me and sent me. You believe that I can do something. But I think that it is necessary to do everything. I forget, it’s better to do one thing – what You want. I ask you to bring me every time to you, to listen to and impregnated by your word go where you need me.

2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to Matthew 9:36-10:8

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus sends out the disciples

10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel

  • When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. In his work, Jesus met with individuals: patients, sinners, and women or with smaller groups, but now before him is a crowd.
  • As he showed his compassion for individuals, so he feels compassion for the crowds. Why? They are tired and scattered. There is no one that could strengthen and connect them.
  • Their leaders are seeking only their own benefit, state governors exploit and they impose heavy burdens, even religious leaders ignore them.

What will Jesus do? Crowds seems such a huge field, ready for harvest. He would like to meet each individual, but there are too many of them. Therefore, in his own name he will send for harvest his students.

  • But even before they go on the road, Jesus instructs them: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

In the beginning of the apostolic work is prayer, communion with the Father. Since there is a large harvest, it is the first not to work or harvest, but to pray. Connection to God, is the first and most effective apostolic work.

  • We should ask from the Lord for the harvest. All people are his harvest: they are valuable to his heart as a precious harvest to the farmer. Lord should send the workers: Sending means, first prepare and inspire them to do the job. A man is clinging to his fears and false certainties. It is difficult for himself to leave everything and walk with Jesus. It is more comfortable to sit at home as to preach the Gospel and to risk failure. Only God can remove all the obstacles for the man to go to the harvest. This is the prayer for priestly vocations.
  • So Jesus sent the Twelve Apostles. Instructs them to do what he does himself: Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Through students Jesus will come to every man, he will preach and heal through them. Of course, on one condition: if workers will be like him.

Jesus determines the working conditions, „Freely you have received; freely give.”

It sounds a little strange for today. Which employee would sign a contract that would have such a provision? But for the proclamation the gratuity s decisive. Students give what they have received as a gift. They have not earned the Salvation and the gospel in any way, so it cannot be sold.

  • This gift is simply not possible to sell and buy. We can only donate and accept it. Proclaimer that multiplies his wealth, certainly does not proclaim Christ and his values.Jesus therefore sending his students in poverty.
  • Man is not that, what he has, but what he can give. Whoever has things, he gives things; but whoever has nothing, he gives himself. So Jesus did, so should do those, who he sends to the masses. Only then will the Lord will come to every human being, the only way he can heal the worn out and connect the scattered crowd.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • God reveals that first is the prayer and then the work. Which work can I in this prayer deliver to God, that it may receive His direction?
  • Jesus is calling each by name, calling him personally because he has a personal relationship with each. And he trusts that that he is appropriate – he will already be trained in the right time. Where am I afraid and prefer not to do anything, because of fear that I would not make mistakes?
  • God gave me gifts and invites me give them on. Which gift could I even more give to people, put myself in this gift, so that Jesus comes to them?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)

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6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.

Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

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7. Action

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (Write down your insights for concrete action)

8. Prayer at the end

God the Father, the Pope encourages us to take the risk. I am afraid to make a mistake and I’d rather not do anything. A here is the trap, you say – even greater mistake is, if I do not do anything. Father, help me to feel the courage that you give me and to let you, that you are my teacher, when I need to.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home  –

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!