Even Jesus Wasn’t Born Finished!

Hos 10:1-3, 7-8, 12 / Mt 10:1-7

For those of us who are reasonably conscientious and self-aware, the reality of our unfinishedness can sometimes be a heavy burden. It’s more than just our sins, which, like the poor, seem to be with us always. Sometimes it’s the lack of the wisdom that we feel we should have by now, or the absence of the clear road map that we think we surely should possess by now.

When those moments of frustration or impatience at the slow pace of our own unfolding do come, we can find comfort in looking at Jesus’ own growth and development into the great man Who in the end was willing to die for us. That’s where He ended up, not where He started. As St. Paul said, “He was like us in all things but sin.”

Today’s gospel gives us clear evidence of that. In sending out His Apostles on their own for the first time, Jesus gives them quite narrow instructions: Limit your sharing of the Good News to Jews only! It would take a good while before Jesus would come to a full understanding of His vocation, which is to all people — without exceptions.

So be patient. Let your unfinishedness keep you gratefully mindful of your absolute dependence on God, who will walk with you all the way to the end of this very long road to wholeness. He sees your every step with the eyes of a loving Parent. Trust that, and let it be enough!

  • markiemarie

    ” It would take a good while before Jesus would come to a full understanding of his vocation , which is to all people– without exceptions. ” Excuse me! Jesus was fully aware of his Vocation!!!! He is , was, and has always known who his , was and always will be ,,,,,God infleshed! When a Human Being says these things about Jesus,,,well,,,,I don’t get it, it seems disrespectful , Peace,M

  • Doris Rodriguez

    Dear Monsignor, I have to agree with MarkieMarie … but I also have to admit that I have been pondering today’s Gospel reading all morning. When Christ selected the twelve and sent them out, I truly believe that He was stepping into His ministry in all its glory and completeness … and that He knew exactly who, what, when, where, and how! Personally, I think it was His disciples that weren’t prepared to preach the Good News to the pagans, Samaritans, and Gentiles and that this was the main reason He chose to limit their preaching to the Jews … but we also find Jesus telling the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28 that He “was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” … but then he turns right around and grants her request because of her “great faith”.

    It seems like Jesus came to personally bring salvation to the Jews and open their eyes to the Truth … and that the fall-out of this mission descended upon the Gentiles and pagans, too … and those who were “seeking God” with all their heart found Him in the Person of Jesus Christ, His Son!

    Then, of course, we have Saul’s great conversion on the road to Damascus and we are relieved to discover that Christ did not leave the Gentile’s out of the salvation picture after all! Hallelujah! Amen!

    I am looking forward to your response as we ponder yet another mystery in the life of our Lord and Savior.

  • mkochan

    I agree. We will have to overlook the good monsignor’s statement I think due to the general soundness of his teaching and great benefit it has been to CE readers. But editorially, I would say that that is not a statement I hold with.

    Then again we do have to distinguish between Jesus being complete as God and being born as a human who learned. There is a great mystry in how his human knowledge worked internally with his Divine knowledge. But I don’t think this a good example of that. There is a difference between God giving the Jews the first opportunity to hear the Good News and not knowing of the Divine intention to save all through the Gospel.

  • choyc9

    Jesus is fully man, fully God. I thought when He was a baby, He was like any other babies. When He was a teenager, He was like any other teenagers. When He first started His public ministry, He was like any newbie in a career/vocation. He wasn’t born finished, but when he said “it’s finished” on the cross, when His soul left His body, that was the moment He finished and fulfilled His mission as man on earth.

    If Jesus was setting an example for us on how to start things small first and take a small step at a time, Monsignor Dennis’ homily made sense. Jesus ate, drank, slept, walked like us, He definitely would learn like us too 🙂

  • cheekin

    choyc9, you are correct. Jesus, for example, as a young child had every virtue in the state of perfection that a young child should have in God’s plan. As a teenager, he had every perfection of virtue that a teenager should; the same as a grown man of 33.

    That does not mean that he had the same virtues as a teenager that he did as an adult, or as a child. When Mary and Joseph were on the road back from Jerusalem, He should have been with them, but instead He was talking with the Pharisees and doctors of the Law. This passage perfectly illustrates that even though Jesus had every perfection of virtue at every stage of His life, that doesn’t mean that He didn’t have to grow.

    At the beginning of His ministry, He had every perfection that He was supposed to have at that stage. Same thing with at the end of His ministry — that doesn’t mean that He didn’t grow in knowledge and in virtue.

  • Doris Rodriguez

    The one thing I absolutely love about being Catholic is that we can admit that we don’t know everything and discuss the Mysteries surrounding our faith with such loving openness and with a true desire to learn and grow ourselves! But, even more wonderful than this … is having a true authority in the deposit of faith that has been passed down to us through Scripture and sacred Tradition! It is also comforting to know that we have 2,000 years of church history from which to glean from this great depository! May God bless all of us as we continue to pick up our crosses and follow our Lord and Savior! I can’t wait to see what the next step will bring! Amen.

  • siobhan32

    He just scared me to death. Jesus did not yet fully understand his vocation? Wow.

  • If at the age of twelve, Jesus knew that His Father was Yahweh and He had to be about His business and therefore be in the Temple, He sure knew what His mission was from the moment Mary set HIm off at Cana.

    But Jesus’ mission was firstly to be preached to the Jews, because they were the First Born and meant to be the light to the Gentiles. God had to give them the right of first refusal of the New Covenant before He could begin with the Gentiles.