- Matt 9:32-38
- The Compassion of Jesus
Many spiritual writers say as followers of Christ, the plight of any human being cannot be a matter of indifference. We must especially be concerned for those who are far away from God. They are not really ‘bad;’ they are just lost or disoriented.
Jesus in today’s gospel expresses concern over the crowds that followed Him. He says: “His heart was moved with pity for them for they were troubled and abandoned, like a sheep without a shepherd,” (v. 36). He sees them like a sheep without a shepherd because they are helpless, troubled and abandoned. Actually these people have leaders in the persons of priests and elders, Pharisees and Sadducees, scribes and officials of the synagogue. But these leaders have not proven to be shepherds to them, who should model also after Jesus, in the sense that they are looking after their own interest instead of truly caring the people.
Christ is the Good Shepherd but He does not want to do so alone. He wants our collaboration. He wants us to help Him bring His sheep to His kingdom. It is because we are Christians and we have been chosen to bring into the Church those whom the Holy Spirit has been seeding, growing and preparing for conversion; those lost or disoriented. We are all called to gather those who want a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and show them the value of belonging to the community of the Church.
How do we do this? We can provide spiritual guidance in times of their trials and difficulties. We can help them heal their emotional wounds. We can feed them with good nourishment for their minds and their souls. We are already put by God, whether we are too young or too old, in the harvesting field; the section of the field to which God has assigned you is where you live, work, play and worship. The Lord has already put us where He needs us. Being uneducated or unskilled or not talented enough is not the reason not to fulfill our commitment to the mission Christ has assigned to us. God already gives us exactly what we need to do some sort of work in evangelization right now.
But this evangelization must be done now. Just like this from an unknown source it is said that 97% of the world has heard of coke-a-cola; 72% of the world has seen a can of coke-a-cola; 51% of the world has tasted a can of coke-a-cola; Coke has only been around 100 years (2004). If God had given the task of world evangelization to the Coke company it would probably be done by now.
At the end of this sharing of mine let us recite this oath of commitment to the evangelization Christ has given to us: “As a servant of God, I commit myself to serve Him diligently and ably, using my talents and skills to the utmost, according to the work that needs to be done. I commit myself to work with my co-laborers in unity, mutual support and cooperation, honesty and integrity, flexibility, and diligence. I commit myself to discerning God’s will through daily prayer, with the help of those in authority over me and the affirmation of Christian community. Lord Jesus, help me to love everyone as you love everyone and help me to serve in that spirit of love. I pray this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
As followers of Christ we best serve by obeying the call to be leaders or shepherds. In what ways each one of us may become a good shepherd to the people around us especially our families, parish community and workplace?