Make this proclamation: “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

What a tall order!   Jesus summons his twelve apostles so that he can send them out to proclaim that, through him, the kingdom of God has come.   And just as Jesus has done, he wants his disciples to speak boldly and with great confidence and authority.

Put yourself in the shoes of the apostles and imagine how they must have felt.   Up until this point, Jesus had been guiding them, teaching them, and showing them by his example how to share the good news of his kingdom.   Now they will have to navigate the way themselves.   But Jesus doesn’t say, “I know this sounds pretty intimidating, so don’t worry if you don’t feel ready yet.   You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”   He has prepared them, and he has every confidence that they can do what he asks.   And so he issues them a challenge rather than making a suggestion.

Did you know that Jesus wants to do the same thing for you?   It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel particularly gifted or highly trained for whatever job he has given you.   Whether he is asking you to teach young children about the faith, share a Scripture passage with someone who is struggling, or join a parish prison ministry, you won’t be doing it on your own.   Like the first disciples, Jesus is sending you out with his authority (Matthew 10:1).   Through his Holy Spirit, he will give you all the gifts you need.

Of course, you’ll probably make some mistakes and fumbles along the way.   You may fumble your words, or you may need to learn to take time to listen.   But that’s okay.   If your limitations don’t bother Jesus, you shouldn’t let them bother you.   The history of the Church is filled with the stories of very human characters who managed, in spite of themselves, to proclaim God’s word and do his work in the world.

So when you feel God asking you to do something you don’t feel equipped for, don’t let the fear of failure or inadequacy stop you.   Step out in faith and do your best—because your best is always good enough for the Lord!

Word Among Us