On being worthy

This reflection was given during the daily Eucharist in the chapel of an Anglican convent.  The Scripture it references is Matthew 10:1-15.

“If the house is worthy…”

In giving his instructions to his disciples as they set out on their mission, Jesus tells them to find a worthy household as their base of operations in each town.  And he has some pretty harsh words for houses or towns that are not worthy!

I wonder if you’ve ever asked yourself what makes a worthy household – or whether your household is worthy?

If you asked my mother, she might say something about housekeeping standards (according to her, I fail dismally), but I rather suspect something else might be going on.

The word here that means “worthy” comes from the marketplace; it’s the word for something which is substantial enough to tip the balance in a scale.  It means something that has weight or gravitas.  We might go so far as to say that Jesus is talking here about a household which is serious.

It suggests that a “worthy” household – a substantial or serious household – is somehow more likely to be a place where the gospel is well received, and people are likely to respond to God.  Which says to me that it’s not about social worth or substance; it’s not about money or having a McMansion, but about the hearts and attitudes of the people who live there.

Do we cultivate a heart which is serious about what is good?  A mind which is well-equipped to take on substantial teaching?  An attitude which is truly worthy of what Jesus puts in front of us?

Questions I leave for you to ponder.


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