SEPTEMBER 27. Ord Time B. Wk 26. Mon. Mt 9. 35-37
Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
Today’s reading is taken from the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul who devoted his whole life to looking after the poor
The Second Vatican Council used this passage when teaching about the message of Christian Charity, which the Church should always be spreading:
“Christian charity is extended to all without distinction of race, social condition or religion, and seeks neither gain nor gratitude! Just as God loves us with a gratuitous love, so too the faithful, in their charity, should be concerned for mankind, loving it with that same love with which God sought man.
As Christ went about all the towns and villages healing every sickness and infirmity, as a sign that the Kingdom of God had come, so the Church, through its children, joins itself with men of every condition, but especially with the poor and afflicted, and willingly spends itself for them”
“When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them, because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd”. There is a teaching here we need to take to heart. It is very easy to live a Christian life where the focus is on our own concerns and needs; - many of which are genuine; - and to then forget about our obligations towards our fellow Christians; - particularly those who are suffering; - and the needs of the Church, which Christ established!
Christ was concerned for all people; - especially sinners, the poor and the disadvantaged. In many cases, we cannot relieve the sufferings of others in a physical sense, but that view ignores the other means we have of helping others; - Prayer; Liturgy; Sacrament; Devotion to Mary; - and particularly the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist!
One of the tragedies of the Catholic Faith is the lack of understanding about what Christ has given us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; - a gift that enables us to renew the Sacrifice of Calvary on a daily basis; - and to offer it for the needs of the Church, and the needs of others!
“God is more honoured by a single Mass than he could be by all the actions of angels and men together, however fervent or heroic they might be. Yet how few hear Mass with the intention of giving God this sublime honour! How few think with joy of the glory a Mass gives to God? How few rejoice to possess the means of honouring him as he deserves!”
“Whatever I hope for and desire I can pray for confidently. I can ask for great graces of every kind for myself, my friends, and my enemies, and far from being at asking for so much I shall know it is little in comparison with what I offer. My only fear is that I shall ask too little and not have a firm, unshakeable hope of obtaining not only what I ask, but far more. If only we knew the treasure we hold in our hands.” St Claude de la Colombiere.
Prayer and Liturgy are God-given gifts we should not under-estimate as aids to help both the Church and those who are suffering; - a duty we all have as Christians and followers of Christ!
Gospel Acclamation Jn10:14
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
First reading 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 ·
God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, to shame the wise
Take yourselves for instance, brothers, at the time when you were called: how many of you were wise in the ordinary sense of the word, how many were influential people, or came from noble families? No, it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything. The human race has nothing to boast about to God, but you, God has made members of Christ Jesus and by God’s doing he has become our wisdom, and our virtue, and our holiness, and our freedom. As scripture says: if anyone wants to boast, let him boast about the Lord.