When I was a child, I had a paper route. Six mornings a week, I delivered newspapers to over a hundred customers before I had breakfast. One of the first sections that my customers looked at was the news, especially the front page. This was in the days before the Internet and email, so the newspaper was one of the main sources of news and information. Some of them also read the sports section to see if their favourite teams won. Many of them, including my own parents, also looked at the comics. That gave them a smile, especially if the news was full of stories of doom and gloom.
Jesus traveled all around the countryside. He went to many different towns and villages, and everywhere he went he saw crowds of people who were lost and helpless. It broke his heart. One day, he turned to his followers and said to them, “There are so many who need help, but there are not enough who are willing to help them. Get on your knees and pray that the Lord will send workers to help them.”
When they had finished praying, Jesus called twelve of his followers to come to him. “Go,” he said, “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.” Do you know what else Jesus told his disciples? He said, “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.'”
Wow! That’s good news, isn’t it? Think about it. “The kingdom of heaven is near.” It isn’t some far off place where we will go at some far-off time. In fact, you might even say, “It’s right here — right now.” Of course, Jesus came to give us eternal life in heaven, but he also came so that we could have life, and have it to the fullest — right now. Now, that’s good news that everyone should hear!
As a “paper boy”, delivering the news was my job. If I didn’t do my job, my customers didn’t get the news-and I usually got an earful! Just as Jesus called the twelve to deliver the good news, he has also called you and me to deliver the good news. If we don’t do our job, someone won’t get the good news today.
Let us bow our heads for a moment of prayer. Father, there is no better news than the good news that you love us and sent your Son so that we might have life and that we might have it abundantly. Help us to faithfully share that good news with others. Amen.