15 June – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
From Rephidim the sons of Israel set out again; and when they reached the wilderness of Sinai, there in the wilderness they pitched their camp; there facing the mountain Israel pitched camp.
Moses then went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Say this to the House of Jacob, declare this to the sons of Israel, “You yourselves have seen what I did with the Egyptians, how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. From this you know that now, if you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations shall be my very own for all the earth is mine. I will count you a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation.”’
We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the one who was to betray him.
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’
You received without charge, give without charge
One of the terms used in the armed forces is “vocation”. It signifies the specific task that each soldier has been assigned to during his tour of duty. The selection process considers amongst other things the soldier’s education levels and the present needs of the armed forces. Similarly, today’s readings offer us a glimpse of what God’s call expects us to do.
I believe the key issue that we have to address is the ability to live out a life that is in line with what God is calling us to do. This is not an overnight process but one which involves a deepening of one’s prayer life and discernment of what God is asking us to do. This also involves a clear understanding of our own talents and limitations to enable us to discover the plan that enables us to live out our Christian mission.
Indeed the process is similar to the selection of a soldier’s vocation. What unites all of these is obedience. God tells the Israelites in the first reading that obedience to his voice and covenant will make them a consecrated nation. Let us cast away the fear that limits us from fulfilling what God is calling us to do.
(Today’s reflection by Nick Chia)
Prayer: Lord, quieten our hearts so that we can hear your voice in this noisy world.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all spiritual directors and the guidance they give to the many souls under their charge.
16 June, Mon – 1 Kings 21:1-16; Matthew 5:38-42
17 June, Tue – 1 Kings 21:17-29; Matthew 5:43-48
18 June, Wed – 2 Kings 2:1. 6-14; Matthew 6:1-6. 16-18
19 June, Thu – Sir 48:1-14; Matthew 6:7-15
20 June, Fri – 2 Kings 11:1-4. 9-18. 20; Matthew 6:19-23
21 June, Sat -2 Chornicles 24:17-25; Matthew 6:24-34 – Memorial of St Aloyious Gonzaga
22 June, Sun – Jeremiah 20:10-13; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33 – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
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