This sounds like fun! How to win friends and influence people. Be the most popular kid on your block. Just find someone to commission you to cure disease and heal the sick. Then go from village to village and cure diseases everywhere. It sounds like the apostles hit the jackpot in today’s gospel. Do we believe Jesus commissions us to do the same today? I suspect not. But, how many times have your spirits been picked out of the gutters of despair by a kind word or gesture from another person. We can and are called to do the same for all the hurting people in our lives.

This reading also makes me think about the current ebola crisis in Africa. Curing and healing are urgently needed. Those who answer this call do so at great risk to themselves as we have all too often read or heard in news accounts of the crisis. Let’s pray in a very special way today for all those sick with the ebola virus and those healthcare workers attending to them.

—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.