The Gospel according to Matthew (9:32-38)
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
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.
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.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Reflection: The last line of today’s Gospel especially touched me. In it, Jesus, the Son of God, literally, God Himself, is saying that all of us have a part to play in the harvest. What a wonderful invitation for all of us! Does it mean that Jesus Himself could not accomplish His Father’s mission on earth? No. It means, though, that God wants us – you and me! – to share in that mission! I thought of a small and silly example. When our boys were small, we asked them to help us out around the house, doing chores. So, we asked them to make their beds, take out the trash, put away the dishes from the dishwasher, and so on. Could Linda and I have done those chores ourselves? Of course! Would we probably have done them “better”? Yes, most likely. But, the thing was that we didn’t want to be the ones to have to do that. We wanted our boys to have a part that they could share in the upkeep of the house. It’s kind of like that for today’s Gospel message. God could do all of the “chores” Himself. He can do whatever He wants. But, He longs for us to help with the “chores”, so that we feel that we have a part to play. God doesn’t care if we do His will perfectly (speaking for me, I can say that I am so relieved that being “perfect” is not a requirement!). He cares that we do our best, and rely on Him for the strength, the wisdom and the energy to share His love in the world. And, best of all, when we fail (for we all do), He will not hesitate to gather us into His arms, hug us tight, and tell us that we are still loved, no matter what! Today is the memorial of St Benedict, the founder of the monastic life, as well as being a patron saint of Europe. His memorial fits in with this idea, too, as he demonstrated and taught that having one’s life ordered helps one to be able to focus on those “chores” that God lays before us. May we, today, see how our lives can have order, if it starts from asking God what He wants us to do, and then, that we have the willingness to do it. St Benedict, pray for us!
Action for the Day: While you do your “chores” today, have in the back of your mind the desire to do the “chores” that God gives each of us. If you aren’t sure what those are, ask Him to show you!
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