Hosea 10:1-3. 7-8. 12
Matthew 10:1-7


“The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few,” Jesus laments before giving his followers the authority to take up the load (9:37). Chosen and named, they are sent out. Having just healed the many who were paralysed, bleeding, blind and mute, along with raising the official’s daughter, surely Jesus was merely wishing to delegate! Imagine the response of the twelve: Excitement? Fear? Anxiety? Pride? The power to heal, cast out, lift up – yet with this ability came heavy responsibility.

Fifteen years ago, I answered an ad for an afterschool nanny. The family lived in a nearby suburb and the hours worked perfectly with Uni where I was studying teaching. After meeting the children, I really wanted the job, and mid-way through the interview it became clear it was mine. Then they dropped the bombshell: Mum had metastatic cancer and had been given less than six months to live. Their previous nanny was so close to the family, she couldn’t bear to stay. They gave me as much time as I needed to reach a decision, yet I knew as I walked out the door that I would take the job – a decision that changed me then and rewards me still.

Life presents us with choices – one path may seem ominous and the other promising, yet the outcome will remain unknown until we live the decision. Do we grasp these opportunities and run with them in hope? Or do we let them pass through to the keeper? The disciples took up Jesus’ challenge, a choice that would transform them forever. The call may not always be so dramatic, a gentle prompting, an opportunity. Yet when the call comes, will I hear God’s voice? When God calls, how will I answer?

Angela Marquis works for the Hobart Passionists at St Joseph’s in Tasmania, with WATAC (Women and the Australian Church), and as a primary school chaplain.