Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 9:32-38

Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 9:32-38

This Gospel begins as several people bring to Jesus a man who was unable to speak because he was possessed by a demon.  Jesus approached the man and drove the demon out of him.  Immediately, the man’s speech was completely restored.  The crowds who witnessed this healing were awed and amazed!  They looked at one another and said: “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

Pharisees were in the crowd also.   After seeing Jesus heal the man, they were not awestruck; rather they made derogatory and dismissive comments.  They accused Jesus of driving out the demons by the power of the prince of demons.

Jesus did not allow the Pharisees’ criticism and disbelief of Him to deter Him from His mission.   Jesus traveled throughout the countryside, preaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and illness.  Jesus had a tender and loving heart;  He was sensitive to every person who was in need.  Matthew writes: “His heart was moved with pity for them as they were troubled and abandoned.  They were like sheep who had no shepherd to care for them.”

Jesus realized how deeply the people were in need.  After a time, Jesus looked at His disciples and said to them: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.  Ask the harvest master to send out laborers for his harvest.”   Today, we are Jesus’ disciples in our world and today Jesus looks at each one of us and says to us: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.”

Today and everyday, Jesus is calling us to go out and care for the people who are in need: individuals who are filled with sorrow, pain, or loneliness.  How will we respond to Jesus’ call?  Will we follow Him or will we ignore or dismiss Him when He calls us?

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