December 4, 2004
Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Father John Doyle, LC
Matthew 9:35—10:1, 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 the master of the harvest to
send out laborers for his harvest.” Then he summonded his
twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to
drive them out and to cure every disease and evey
illness. Jesus sent out these Twelve after instucting 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.
Introductory Prayer:Lord Jesus, just as you
sent out your first apostles to preach your Kingdom and
do good to all, please fill me with your grace
to fulfill my mission of being an authentic witness to
you before others. Holy Mary, accompany me in this mediation.
Spirit unite me to Jesus, the vine, so that I
will bear much fruit.
1. The Heart of Christ. “His heart
was moved with pity for them because they were troubled
and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus is our
creator and our redeemer. He knows even our innermost desires.
He knows that what we seek is his friendship whether
we realize it or not. We seek his healing and
love. He looks upon me with great love because he
wants me to be holy and truly happy. He wants
to cure me of my diseases and illnesses, especially those
of the spirit: pride, vanity and selfishness.
2. Pray to the
Lord of the Harvest. “The harvest is abundant but the
laborers are few.” There are so many souls in need
of healing and so few to help Our Lord with
this great mission of building his Kingdom and saving souls.
“Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers to the harvest.” Christ is calling me to help
him in this mission. I cannot be indifferent to the
cries of my brothers and sisters who do not know
the truth and who have not experienced God’s awesome love.
I must be convinced that Jesus is the only answer
for their yearnings. Do I pray often to the Lord
of the harvest? Do I realize that I am also
called to be a laborer in the Lord’s harvest?
to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. Jesus
sends me out and I feel weak and helpless. Can
I “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and
drive out demons?” Isn’t there someone else, Lord? No. Christ
calls you for the same reason he called the first
apostles, namely because he chooses the weak to show that
he is in charge. “Apart from the vine you can
do nothing.” But united to him, you will bear much
fruit. Trust in him especially when you feel your own
weakness and incapability. For, as the apostle St Paul, reminds
us, “There is nothing I cannot do in him who
strengthens me,” and “It is when I am weak that
I am strong.”
Dialogue with Christ: Oh Lord Jesus,
I do not feel worthy or up to the task
of being your apostle. Please help me to unite myself
to you, the true vine, each time I receive you
in the Eucharist, so that united to you, I will
be faithful to my mission of building your Kingdom.
will go before the Blessed Sacrament today, intensifying my union
and friendship with my Risen Lord, and ask him to
send more holy priestly vocations for his Church.
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