The final two verses of the Gospel manifest Jesus’ compassion for the crowds and his desire to have missionary laborers to meet their needs. These same sentiments are echoed by Pope Francis in his Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). Here Francis proposes a profound missionary renewal of the entire Church.
He asserts that we need an “evangelizing Church that comes out of herself,” not a Church that is “self-referential” and “lives within herself, of herself, for herself.” “I dream of a ‘missionary option,’ that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world…” (n 27).
“Missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity… we need to move ‘from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral ministry’ ” (n 15).
Gospel • MATTHEW 9:32-38
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute person spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he 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.”
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.