ST FRANCIS XAVIER, P (Memorial) White
He was a friend of St Ignatius of Loyola who convinced him to use his talents to spread the Gospel. He followed the spiritual exercise of St Ignatius and in 1534 joined his community, the Society of Jesus. They vowed poverty, chastity and apostolic service. For ten years he worked in India baptising 10,000 in a single month. He was at the service of the poor and forgotten and made most of his missionary journey by bare feet. He had the dream to work in China but died before reaching the mainland. He and St Therese of Lisieux were declared co-patrons of the missions in 1925
First Reading: Isa 30:19-21. 23-26; Psalm: 147. R. Isa 30:18; Gospel: Mt 9:35-10:1. 5a. 6-8
WE ARE THE LABOURERS GOD NEEDS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd? (Mt 9:36).
A sheep without a shepherd is vulnerable and exposed to danger. It can be attacked by wild animals, wounded or killed. It might fall into a ditch, caught by a trap or fall sick with no one to care for it. It is not a safe condition. With this image in mind, we can understand what Jesus meant when he said that the crowds were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd? Jesus saw a hungry crowd deprived of physical and spiritual nourishment. A crowd that needed direction against the evil in the world. A wounded crowd in search of healing and comfort. And so he cried out for more labourers to attend to these needs.
If we look into our world today, we have numerous people in critical conditions in need of help. A lot of people are sick and in need of support. Countless people are faced with hunger and deprivation. Some are emotionally and psychologically wounded due to some shocking experiences of life. Children are exposed to abuses from those meant to protect them. A lot of able-bodied men and women are jobless and deprived of job opportunities due to some unjust structures. And sadly, most of these unfortunate experiences are caused by us.
We can hear Jesus crying out for labourers in the gospel of today. We are these labourers God is in search of. We are the ones to make things right. The plentiful harvest that Jesus mentioned are the numerous things that we need to do to make our world better. If only we can live our lives considering the good of others in all that we do, our world would be a better place. Let us think today those we can reach out to help. It could be a sick neighbour, a traumatised friend, a hungry family or even a child exposed to abuses. Our world is full of many sheep without a shepherd. If we can each help one, numerous souls would be saved.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, make us good labourers in your harvest. Amen.