Posted: 08 Jul 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” 35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matt 9:32-38
Reflection: Who were these harassed and helpless lots and what were they harassed or helpless about?
How could Jesus say that they were like sheep without a shepherd?
Were not the high priest and the many priests in their time supposed to shepherd these people?
Yes, these children of Israel were harassed and helpless, in spite of having shepherds over them, and we just had an instance of one of them being harassed and helpless on account of a dumb spirit activity in him.
The high priest and the many priests were there but may have reached a point of modern day modernism and rationality that they failed to bring alive to them the faith that protects from harassment from the activity of the evil one and is able to set us free from such harassment and helplessness.
Hence, though there were shepherds in Israel, yet, they were no Shepherds for the sheep of God. They were busy accomplishing their own agenda’s, which may have even involved fattening of themselves on the flesh of the sheep which they are supposed to feed. (Ez. 34:1ff)
Sometimes as we reflect on our times, I wonder whether we have reached a similar situation in our time; for the situation seems no different and suddenly the ways of Pope Francis seems so different to us as he tries his best to feed the flock of Christ in all simplicity.
His simplicity points a glaring picture and is a sign of contradiction in the midst of the many who are used to the lavishness of the prince among the shepherds.
On the other hand there are also wolves waiting on the periphery of the church waiting to devour or lead these sheep into other so called ‘sheepfolds’.
In all this we have a Chief shepherd in Christ Jesus who has assured us that he is with us, even to the end of times, not just with the church but with each individual. (Mt. 28:20)
We have a hope to survive the ordeal of the moment and because of his protective presence with us, which we can freely avail of.
Prayer: Lord, help us to be faithful to you and your calling, even unto death.
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