Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Introduction 

Picture yourself coming to your own community and all the lights are out. The only light is coming from the church. You go to see where the light is coming from. It is coming from near the altar, so you approach the light. You see it coming from a man sitting in a chair. You are about to ask him what he is doing and you see it is the Christ. You kneel before him. He does not move because he is a captive. He is tied tight to a chair, a prisoner. You ask him, “Why are you tied, what has fixed you here?”

He replies, “I am stuck here because my people will not reach out in love. My people do not proclaim the good news. My people do not help in the healing of the nations. They have fastened me in the building”.

“Lord, how can I set you free?”

“By going out in my name and working with me in all the world”.

You offer yourself to his service, saying, “Here I am, send me”. At the moment the Christ is freed and the lights begin to come on again.

Our God is a calling God, seeking a response from each of us: he is a sending God. In Jesus we hear the command, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. With this sending is the promise, “I am with you always”.

The Scripture (Matthew 9: 35-38)
The Harvest Is Great, the Laborers Few

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”

The Story

Service Begins At Home

Perhaps you entertain grand dreams of how to live out your Christian vocation. Perhaps foreign missions where you can “gather the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” or cloisters in the desert, appeal to the romantic side of your nature. Why not give your life over to God’s service in a blaze of excellent fervour? On your way to holy perfection, however, it’s always a good idea to make a stop that’s more accessible and just as worthy: right where you are. Can you love and serve the people already given to you in your family, neighbours, parish, and workplace? Before you dash off to save the world, share a little of that love at home.

More than anything else, Jesus has one basic message: The kingdom of God is at hand. He proclaimed it had begun and was on its way to fulfillment. In it is everything he was, taught, did, and wants us to learn and do: Love God and one another wholeheartedly, especially those who are deprived in some way. Forgive as God has forgiven you. Be open to a new and different way of seeing the world and acting, one that brings everyone together in God. Are you ready to enter the Kingdom?

The Commissioning

We go from here a hopeful people, for God goes with us.
In times of trouble, God will support us;
in times of weakness, God will be our strength;
in times of doubt, God will give us direction;
in times of loneliness, God will touch us with the friendship of others;
in times when we lack confidence, God will show us our worth;
in times of sadness, God will embrace us with love.
Nothing can dash our hopes!
In the power and the love of God.

GPBS © (2023)

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