Some people brought to Jesus a man who was dumb because he was possessed by a demon. When the demon was driven out, the dumb man began to speak. The crowds were astonished and said, «Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel». (But the Pharisees said, «He drives away demons with the help of the prince of demons»).
Jesus went around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and He cured every sickness and disease. When He saw the crowds he was moved with pity, for they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to his disciples, «The harvest is abundant but the workers are only few. Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest».
We have a God of compassion and love. He comes to us to save us. Unfortunately, man in his weakness is not able to understand him. Since he sees everything in a human way, it is difficult to perceive things that are purely divine. He doesn’t have the patience and inner peace. He expects that God acts immediatly, according to humain desires. To understand the divine way of functionning, he must learn to see everything with an eye of faith.
This vision of faith will help us to see and look at the divine works and to identify the harvests that await us. Our church of the day needs these workers, not only the ministries, but also the committed laity. It is God who calls them and sends them to this world that He loves. That is why Jesus asks us to pray, to pray to His Father, that He may form us and send us to His people, the beloved of the Father. We must never forget that the harvest of which Jesus speaks to us belongs to His Father.
If every baptised realises that he or she is called and sent by the Father, will learn to act in a divine way, though in his or her own humanity, with its own limites and weakness. Isn’t this way of acting is called a contemplative action ? Let’s be in our own way be contemplatively active, so that people through our good deeds, may glorify God.
Action of the day : Be faithful to your vocation.
«Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest»
Fr. Joan SOLÀ i Triadú
Today, the Gospel speaks of the man who was dumb because he was possessed, and of how his healing provoked different reactions between the crowd and the Pharisees who, in the face of prodigious evidence, nobody could deny, they attributed it to devilish powers «He drives away demons with the help of the prince of demons» (Mt 9:34). Instead, the crowd marvels: «Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel» (Mt 9:33). When referring to this passage St. John Chrysostom, says: «What the Pharisees truly resented was the crowds were considering Jesus superior, not only to those existing then, but to all that had ever existed».
However, the Pharisees' animadversion did not worry Jesus in the least; He faithfully went on with his mission. Not only, but before the evidence those Israel guides, instead of looking after their flock and shepherd it, what they did was to mislay it, Jesus felt sorry for those tired and depressed crowds without a true shepherd to look after them. That crowds are grateful for a good leadership and yearn for it, can be appreciated when we looked at the pastoral visits of St. John Paul II to the different places in the world. How he manages to gather immense crowds around him! How they listen to him, particularly our youth! And this, despite the Pope does not make discounts, for he preaches the Gospel with all its requirements.
St. Josemaria Escriva says: «If we should be consequent with our faith, when we look around us and contemplate the scenery of history and our world, we could not but feel that, the same feelings that animated Jesus' heart, are also invading ours», which would take us to a very generous apostolic task. But the disproportion amongst the crowds waiting for the preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the scarcity of ready workers to preach it, is quite evident. At the end of the text of the Gospel, though, Jesus gives us the solution: to ask the master of the harvest to send workers to his fields (cf. Mt 9:38).