6/18/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 9:36-10:8
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.
2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
3 Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
4 Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
5 Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
6 Go rather 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.
6/18/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 9:36-10:8
The gospel reading above speaks of discipleship. Just as Jesus has called and sent the first twelve apostles, he is also calling and sending us for a mission. In other words, discipleship entails a mission. We are called therefore to do something in the vineyard where “the harvest is ready but the laborers are few”.
During the time of Jesus, there were so many people who were in need of help. It is the same during our time, if not, more so. Just look around us or read the dailies, people everywhere are hungry for the Good News, hungry for physical food, and are in need of healing as well as comfort. Who will proclaim to them the Kingdom of God and tend to their needs?
The task of spreading the Word of God and serving the needy is not only for the priests or pastors. Every baptized Christian is called to share in the unfinished work or creation and redemption as priest, prophet and king (1 Peter 2:9). Just as Jesus was moved with compassion, may the Holy Spirit moved each one of us to move out of our comfort zones and reach out to the last, least and lost people in society.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit has been given to us freely, let us serve the people of God freely, without expecting reward or recognition. For it is Jesus whom we actually serve and it is Jesus who will bless us and give what is due to us whether at the present time and in the life beyond. It is therefore very timely at this point in our life to ask the question: What shall I do to heed the command of Jesus to go to the lost sheep, proclaim the kingdom of heaven and cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and drive out demons? And to do all these things for free?