A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 9:35, 10:1, 5A, 6-8
35 Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.
36 At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
38 so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
1 Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.
5A Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
6 “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
Reflection: What moves you?
During the time of Jesus, there were a lot of people who were sick, oppressed and uneducated. Jesus cured every disease, fought against oppression and worked hard as an itinerant teacher. People followed Him everywhere and when He saw them, He was moved with pity for they were troubled and abandoned.
As a being in human form, Jesus cannot do all the hard work. That is why He chose twelve apostles, empowered them and sent them as laborers in the harvest. Yet the harvest is great. More laborers are needed. Jesus is requesting us to pray for more of them.
Fast forward to the modern age. Although observers say great progress has been achieved everywhere especially in the western countries, millions of people are still wanting for adequate health care, oppression is still experienced here and there, and throngs of them are yet to be educated and evangelized. Who will be sent to cure them? Who will fight for them? Who will educate them and teach them about the Kingdom of God? Aren’t we moved with pity?
In our own time, to follow Jesus means basically to imitate Him in His words and deeds. If we are not moved with pity upon those multitudes who continue to suffer hunger and all kinds of diseases, then what really move us? Yes, Jesus is asking for prayers that God may send more laborers but then, whom will He send?
As followers of Jesus, we are called to be sent. We are called to be compassionate, that is to have the strong urge to respond to the needs of others with love and selflessness. We are called to make ourselves available to be the instrument of God’s healing power and to be His mouthpiece to deliver the message of His kingdom everywhere.