HOMILY FOR THE 11TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
1. Summary of ideas of the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A readings
The theme of freedom runs through the readings of the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.
- God frees his people from slavery in Egypt and makes them his personal property, “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (1st reading).
- This, which was a foretaste, was fully realized when Jesus Christ died to free us from the slavery of sin and open the path of salvation (2nd reading).
- Freed by Jesus Christ, we are called to announce and communicate that same glorious freedom of the children of God, especially to those who do not know Christ and walk like sheep without a shepherd (Gospel).
2. Jesus’ compassion towards those who are astray.
In today’s Gospel, St. Matthew recounts that Jesus he was deeply moved when he saw the people, because their pastors, instead of guiding them and tending them, led them astray, behaving more like wolves than genuine shepherds of their flock.
- Cum-patire to suffer with, to grieve for something, is not a mere sentiment, but something that is manifested in effective work, rooted in the will to do good for another.
- This is the reason why Jesus went about all the cities in search of man: to teach, heal, save and to sacrifice for them.
- He also told them that the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.
- Furthermore, He called the Twelve to help him carry out His salvific mission of liberating humanity from the slavery of sin and acquiring the true freedom which He offers: freedom from moral misery, from sin, and from eternal damnation.
3. We, too, by virtue of our Baptism, are called to do apostolate.
We, too, -by virtue of our Baptism through which we have become children of God-, are called to do apostolate, that is, to bring souls to Christ.
Saint John Chrysostom says:
“The message that is communicated to you is not destined for you alone, but you must transmit it to the whole world, because I do not send you to two cities, or ten, or twenty, nor even send you to a whole nation, as in the past to the prophets, but to the earth, to the sea and to the whole world, and to a world, indeed very ill-disposed, because by saying: “You are the salt of the earth”, it teaches that men have lost His taste is corrupted by sin, and he demands from all his disciples those virtues that are most necessary and useful for the care of others “(Homily on St. Matthew 15: 6).
Jesus first sent the Twelve to the Jews, but later on, before ascending into heaven, told them to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15).
Let us remember though that the Christian’s apostolic zeal and duty is the fruit of our love for Our Lord. St. Josemaria said:
- “If you love the Lord, you will necessarily become aware of the blessed burden of souls that need to be brought to God. (St. Josemaria, Forge, n. 63).”
- The only important thing is that Christ be announced, known and loved. He is the one who acts through the apostles of then and now. This is what St. Augustine expresses:
- “We can admonish with the sound of our voice, but if the one who teaches is not inside, our sound is vain … May He speak to you, then, inwardly, since within you, there is no other teacher except Him (In 1Jn 2, 4).”
- We can ask ourselves the same question: Lord, do I feel this blessed burden of souls? Not just mere sentiment but something which will effectively push me to give myself more, to forget myself more, and to look for souls?
How do we carry out this apostolic mission and be God’s labourers? Through our prayers, sincere friendship, good example, words and deeds.
- We are God’s instruments, and we must include in our daily prayers not only our personal intentions but also ask for the conversion of souls and that more souls would give their lives to gain souls for God.
- In our daily dealings with people in our home, work and social environment, do we bring souls to Christ through our good example and sincere friendship?
- A good friend is one who wants the good of his friend and what is more precious than wanting the spiritual well-being of our friends?
- Are we concerned if our children, siblings or friends have gone to Confession or to Sunday Mass or are taking care of their prayer life?
- Let us not forget that many of us have re-encountered our Lord because of the prayers and help of a friend who was genuinely concerned about our spiritual health. Perhaps, that friend had invited us to go to Holy Mass, or to go to Confession, and had given us good counsel or formation as regards our relationship with God.
- It is high time that we as well roll up our sleeves and get to job done for the love of Christ and or souls.
Dear friends, let our hearts be fashioned according to the heart of Christ. A CHRISTIAN TRULY IN LOVE WITH CHRIST STRIVES TO GAIN SOULS FOR HIM AND HIS TRUE CHURCH FOR TRULY GOOD THINGS ARE DIFFUSIVE IN THEMSELVES.
May we also be like Christ who took pity for the crowds because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, by being apostolic souls.
May we also include in our daily prayers for the conversion of souls, asking God as well to send us holy, apostolic and faithful men and women in all states of life to carry our God’s harvest of souls for the kingdom of Heaven. Mary, Queen of Apostles, Help of Christians, pray for us.
A Blessed Sunday and week ahead!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
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