December 7, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5A, 6-8

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.”

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.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

Reflection (Sem. Edgar Calma):

     The Gospel passage talks about our Lord Jesus reaching out to all the towns and villages to proclaim the Kingdom of God. And such proclamation is realized and being actualized in the lives of the people when He cured the diseases and illnesses of the crowd that followed Him along the way.  As mentioned in the Gospel passage, the task of proclaiming the Kingdom of God was extended to his twelve disciples. He summoned and gave them authority to proclaim the Good news, drive away unclean spirits, cure the sick, raise the dead and cleanse the lepers.

     Proclaiming the Kingdom of God and the authority to heal the diseases and illnesses of people were truly noble tasks given to the disciples. Despite their own limitations and shortcomings, they were chosen by Christ to lead the way and perform a great task for the Kingdom of God and His chosen people. But the mission or the harvest is great and abundant, however, the laborers are only few. That is why, even up to present, the invitation of Christ is for all of us to pray unceasingly to the Master of the harvest that He might send forth laborers for His harvest. I believe this is the challenge for us all Christians in our current times.  As believers of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the sacrament of Baptism, we are all called to be laborers in proclaiming the Kingdom of God, to bear witness to His glorious deeds and become instruments of His love to His people.

     The invitation of the Gospel for us today is really to look into ourselves and to reflect how we have become true to our mission and purpose in life. Have we truly responded to God’s call in proclaiming His Kingdom in allowing ourselves to be agents of love, peace and unity in the midst of adversities, trials and division?  Literally, we may not have the capacity to cure the sick and raise the dead as the disciples did in their mission during the time of Christ, but curing and healing may also happen now with a brother or sister in an office setting, in the neighborhood or in the marketplace where we learn to forgive and accept one another despite our differences.  I could still recall the words of the Head of the Human Resources Division in one of the companies I worked for when there was a labor issue in the said company, “that in spite of the difference in opinion and positions that both sides are taking, let us not forget that we are all in one company… working for the same company and united as brothers and sisters in Christ. When we go back to our work areas, we should go beyond the issues and become source of inspiration and healing to everyone.”

     Let this be a moment for us to reflect, how we have responded to the call of Christ to be his agents of love, peace and healing in our own family, in communities and organizations that we are presently connected with.

 

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