The Gospel Today
Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Matthew 9:35-10:5a, 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. Jasper Bautista):
I always admire priests and religious people who serve God and His people without any reservation. They are all exemplars of obedience and they are my inspirations, as well. My birthplace where I spent my childhood is a bit far from the town proper and we seldom have a Eucharistic celebration in our chapel. Therefore, we feel blessed whenever a priest visits us and celebrates the holy mass.
During my elementary school days, some nuns would go to our school during recess and morning breaks to teach us the Church’s catechism and tell us bible stories. Every week, I always waited for them because I loved their stories and teachings. They all conscientiously went to our place and devoted their time even if our place was so rustic. As I grew up I learned more of the clergy’s selflessness and moving stories on how they served the Lord and His flock. Some held street masses and other religious activities far- off places. Missionaries left their countries and their loved ones to serve other people from all corners of the world. Now, even the lay people are tasked and empowered in doing the same mission in spreading the Good News.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus directed the Twelve to “Go to the lost sheep of Israel and proclaim that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” History-wise, the apostles, disciples, and the holy men and women of the Church continued Christ’s directions even to the extent of dying and being martyred for the faith. As a priest-in-process, I draw my strength and inspiration from their steadfast love, untiring service, unshakable faith, and the hope they have given to God’s people. We are all called to serve in various ways. Let us all persevere and share God’s love, mercy, and joy, as Jesus Christ instructed.