At the sight of the crowds, Jesus' 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" (Matt 9:36-38).
A reflection from Father Tudgay for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.
We can easily take good things for granted….all of us! Usually, it isn’t until we loose something or, unfortunately, someone, that our awareness of a good thing, a good person, gifts, talents, freedom, are seen for what they are. When life happens, when there is a necessary, yet unexpected change, reality often clarifies itself for us. Hopefully on the other side of these events, our hearts are more tuned in to see so many things as a gift.
Our second reading is Saint Paul’s desperate attempt to shape the hearts of the Christian community in Rome. The Roman Christians, newly baptized and converted to the Christian Faith, had the experience of a radical shift in their lives because of the faith in Christ that they processed. From the inclusion in and protection of the government of the Roman Empire, the once faithful citizens of the State were now its enemies because of their baptism and public profession of faith in Christ. It’s easy to see how a sense of disillusionment or even regret may have entered their lives. The privilege and freedom they once enjoyed vaporized because of their embrace of the Christian Faith.
Saint Paul’s letter to the Christian community at Rome is intended to frame their experience of persecution for their faith in a perspective of gratitude. How? Paul emphasizes that the reconciliation to God through the Christian Faith is the supreme gift beyond all price. Christ’s death finalizes God’s redemption of the human race draws us into communion with him, which gives us the confidence of knowing, like the early Roman Christians, that eternal life is the guarantee that awaits those who allow salvation to pass into our souls through our embrace of the Christian Faith!
O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.