11TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A @ HOLY FAMILY BROOKLYN, NY, USA.
THEME: “GO AND SHARE GOD’S LOVE”
1st Reading: Ex. 19: 2-6.
God brought Israel on eagle’s wings to himself. “I bore you on eagle wings, and brought you here to myself.” Israel was brought to Mount Sinai to make her “a special possession of the Lord, dearer to God than all other people.” This is divine election which shows God’s love not dependent on human merit.
2nd Reading: Rom. 5: 6-11.
Justified by the blood of the Lord Jesus while still sinners, we are saved by his life now we are reconciled. Christ’s death changed our status – that is our relationship with God was changed, (viz, justification). And by his rising from the dead he has changed our state, that is called sanctification. That is to say the saving process goes on until we see him face to face in heaven. The entire saving process is out of God’s love. The initiative is from God, the attitude is God’s loving attitude to humans. God’s love is not dependent on our merit.
Gospel: Matt. 9: 36-10:8.
Jesus moved by divine compassion – chooses the 12 apostles and sends them out to go and share God’s healing love, liberating love, forgiving love.
Note that in the three readings the emphasis on God’s love and human unworthiness continues to show up.
· In Exodus, Israel was chosen in spite of herself.
· In Romans, we are saved while we were still sinners.
· In the gospel, the people were like sheep without a shepherd and moved with compassion, Jesus attended to them.
· NB: In the Gospel, Jesus was moved with compassion – the word there in Greek means “to the deepest depths of his being.” This implies a great desire to wipe out the source of sorrow. This same expression was used in a few other places like when Jesus saw the widow of Nain following the procession to bury her only son. He was moved and he raised the dead.
What can we learn?
· We are called to do what Jesus did. Do not be indifferent at the sight of human suffering.
· Again, Jesus insists that the harvest is rich. He did not look forward to the destruction of sinners but for their salvation. He was quite positive about their condition.
· In the choice of his disciples, Jesus chose men who had incompatible ideologies. He chose twelve ordinary men who could do extraordinary things.
· Matthew – as a tax collector was seen by others as one who served his country’s oppressors. He was the opposite of a patriot.
· Then, there was Simon the zealot. The zealots were the fanatical Jews who were ready to kill in order to rid their country of foreign rulers.
· In this way he continued to call us – one was a cousin to the other, two from the same family, etc. Suffice it to say that the Twelve might fight each other to death if they met elsewhere, but in the company of Jesus they became one, bound by the love of God.
· This same love Jesus sent out to share. We are all in the same company of Jesus now.
· Today, by baptism we are all enjoying personal divine election.
· Like the Jews of old, if you look at your life you discover an abundance of divine favour.
· Jesus is calling us and sending us out to proclaim the good news; to share the love which forgives, heals, reconciles, to show compassion to the needy; to eliminate human suffering; to help heal and to herald the good news. All divergences and incompatibilities melt away if we truly love Jesus. If we love Jesus, we can love one another – that is what we are being sent out to do. The recipients of our love do not have to merit or deserve it, just as we are beneficiaries of divine love.
May the Lord make us true apostles of his divine love through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today is Fathers’ Day. It is a wonderful coincidence or rather providence. Fathers are supposed to be the image of God our Father in our homes. Fathers must, like God, extend love to others especially members of their family whether they deserve it or not. God does not give his love only to those who merit it.
The earthly model of fatherhood is St. Joseph. Recall how he disobeyed the Jewish law of marriage to obey the law of love and save the life of his wife-to-be and child before the angel appeared to him. Love has no measure. This is our calling – being created in the image of God who is love.