Sunday, June 18th, 2023 – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A Readings: Exodus 19:2-6a, Psalm 100 “We are his people: the sheep of his flock”, Romans 5:6-11, Matthew 9:36—10:8
Pray for Vocations
Christ trusts His apostles to reveal and introduce "salvation" to all of His people; He calls us in a personal way, awarding us redemption and conversion. Such a mission implies the social transformation of the human race. The modern priest must play both a father and a teacher role. Not everyone can carry out such a demanding task; nor is it a responsibility that can be easily mastered. We are being called now, more than ever, "the harvest is great."
Brothers and Sisters,
Today's Gospel recounts Christ with His generous mercy, who is moved when seeing His people "abandoned and exhausted", like sheep that have no shepherd. It is in that situation the Church finds itself in today for "the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few." We need priests! Why have vocations diminished? What has happened to our world? It is obvious that materialism has invaded the home and the school grounds; as well as the economy, the political arena and our work places.
The family obsesses about its financial well-being, their "social status". Learning institutions are but conduits of information, rather than developing virtuous traits and community. The youth are motivated by the practical and useful, seeking comforts; the standard of a disposable society. Thus, we cannot be surprised by the following conclusion from this Gospel reading: The harvest is plentiful and growing, but the laborers are few, and declining. Yet there is a deeper cause for concern: "modern man has expelled God from their daily lives."
1. Jesus Christ's primary directive is 'prayer': "Pray to the Lord of the harvest to provide the laborers to gather His crop." The Church will grow vibrantly if the community of believers is solid and well-instructed in religious doctrine. One of the most serious shortcomings of modern Christians is religious ignorance. Formation must be nurtured. Our contemporary world demands from its Christians "to supply rationale for their faith." But "nobody can provide what they themselves do not have." Our prayer must remain strong: "Lord, send us saints and holy priests that reflect your heart."
2. His second recommendation describes the distinctiveness of the Christian life: "We have received it free, thus should share it freely." Every Christian is a "Gift from God" to his fellow brothers and we all should follow the unselfish example of Jesus Christ who surrendered His life; His death on the cross for the salvation of all men. It is imperative that we teach our youth so through Christ's generosity both the quality and quantity "of shepherds to tend to His sheep will multiply." We must pray fervently to our Lord for vocations and educate our children about generosity so they will recognize the call of a life to God. The entire community that supports them will treasure them like vessels of clay. Amen.