Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 9:36- 10:8
In the gospel, we hear that Jesus called His first disciples and gave them a big responsibility: Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons! Jesus called these first disciples not because they were perfect or better than others; they were ordinary, simple fishermen. But they had special qualities; they were ready to change their old ways of life and ready to take on any tasks to follow Jesus’ mission.
Jesus does not look for us to be fit, but He makes us fit. By calling us, Jesus makes it possible for us to follow Him, to participate in the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and to make this mystery visible to others. Only those, who are ready and willing to receive this gift of transformation, can hear the call of Jesus. Jesus calls these ordinary people to do extraordinary things!
In our own lifetimes, we have seen how God called the ordinary woman, St. Mother Teresa, to do extraordinary things in her own simple ways to the poor and suffering. Mother Teresa said, “I am only a pencil in God’s hand. God writes through us …and however imperfect instruments we may be, God writes beautifully.”
I love Mother Teresa’s beautiful words. I love the imagination they create. I like to imagine that I am one of those worn-out old pencils. And every now and again, this pencil gets dull. I mess up. I get petty and immature and short-sighted. I forget to trust and start to strive. The once sharp point of my pencil wears down and the eraser starts to disappear because I have made so many mistakes that need to be rubbed out!
But God does not put me away and pick up a new pencil. God still decides to write with me, despite my own dullness, despite my glaring imperfections. God decides to sharpen me and put this pencil on His page. And then God starts to write. And if there is one thing I am sure of, it is that God is the best author out there. Not only did God write the best-selling book of all time, but God has also written beautiful stories in the lives of the billions and billions of people, who have lived on this planet: imperfect people, who lived beautiful lives!
Also, in the gospel, Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so, ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” We know that today’s world needs God’s love and mercy. It is like a dry and barren land waiting to soak up the gentle rain. We are that rain and our Lord wants to send us to share His grace and love to the world.
Let us ask ourselves: How ready and willing are we to share Jesus’s message of love to the world? Sometimes we feel that the work of evangelization and harvesting good fruit is not our job, and it is for someone else. Our challenge is: What can I do? The answer is very easy. We can turn our attention to Jesus and let Him send us where ever He wants us to share His message of love and mercy. Our responsibility is to be attentive. To Listen, be open, be ready, and be willing and say “Yes” to His gentle promptings!
We all are called by Jesus in a very personal and loving way to go with Jesus into the field. Our harvest work might be – loving a different person more deeply or listening more carefully in our conversation, especially, when we hear a person who has a different opinion and viewpoint from us.
Let us reach out with our loving hands and encouraging words, to people who are living with isolation, fears, anxieties, and worries in nursing homes and hospitals or living in their own homes alone. Let us hold back our own judgmental and negative attitude to others and accept and respect others as they are, then we are harvesting in God’s field!
I love this beautiful quote from St. Mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”