(Part 20)


December 6, 2014

Today’s readings:

Isaiah 30:19-26

Psalm 147:1-6

Matthew 9:35-10:8

Our God is the great and awesome Creator. “He numbers the stars, and gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, vast in power” (Ps 147:4-5a). But this awesome Creator-God is concerned with His creatures. They have strayed from Him, and they have oppressed their own kind, especially the poor. So what is God about? “The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, healing the brokenhearted, and binding up their wounds.” (Ps 147:2-3). How can the 99 lost sheep be brought back to the sheepfold; how can the marginalized and deprived be restored? They need to meet Christ, and start to live Christ. This happens as we do the work of evangelization. We need to share Christ. “Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mt 10:6).

Further, God has a special love for the poor. “The Lord gives aid to the poor” (Ps 147:6a). How does God intend to do that? Through us. Thus we minister to the poor. If only the world cared for the poor, there would be no one in need.

Thus we evangelize the world, so that the world would in turn minister to the needs of the poor.

Jesus “summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority” (Mt 10:1a) to continue with his work. We too are commissioned. “Jesus went around to all the towns and villages” (Mt 9:35a). We too are to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. Jesus was “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom” (Mt 9:35c). We too are to do this missing first step in evangelization, the proclamation of the gospel, the kerygma, so that people might meet Christ. Jesus was “curing every disease and illness.” (Mt 9:35d). We too are to do the work of total human liberation, helping bring healing to people, addressing their human needs, so that there would be no one in need.

Jesus came in order to bring salvation—redemption of the spirit as well as liberation of the body. God sees His creatures in darkness. Jesus sees his sheep scattered and lost. “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.” (Mt 9:36). God is eager to minister to His people. “Truly, the Lord is waiting to be gracious to you, truly, he shall rise to show you mercy.” (Is 30:18a).

We just need to cry out to God, and turn away from the idols of our lives (Is 30:22). Then “He will be most gracious to you when you cry out; as soon as he hears he will answer you.” (Is 30:19b). He will show us the way we are to go (Is 30:20b-21), on the straight and righteous path. He will feed the hungry and afflicted poor (Is 30:20a). He will bring physical well-being and prosperity, such as in agricultural productivity (Is 30:23). Such will happen as “the Lord binds up the wounds of his people” (Is 30:26c).

There is much work to be done but not enough workers to do the work. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” (Mt 9:37). We need to harness parishes to participate fully in the massive work of evangelization. We need to mainstream Catholic lay evangelization. This is the aim of LCSC.

Matthew lists the names of the twelve apostles first called (Mt 10:2-4). Now you are the one being called. May your name be included in the list of those whom the Lord sends.

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