Jesus Needs You!

July 11, 2017 – Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Benedict, Abbot

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (9:32-38)

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man 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.”

Reflect: His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus is confronted with the needs of the people so he cured “every disease and illness.” At the same time, the Pharisees who supposedly longed for the Kingdom of God accuse Jesus of driving out demons “by the prince of demons.”  Rather than rejoicing that the people are finding hope and healing, they are led by jealousy.  On the one hand, we have Jesus responding to the needs of the people because of his heart filled with compassion and mercy. On the other hand, the hearts of the Pharisees are blinded to the suffering and pain of their people because their hearts are jaded by jealousy and resentment.  Jesus comes announcing the Kingdom of God; some close their hearts and minds to the liberating truth of the Good News. Jesus not only asks us to have hearts and minds open and receptive to his love, but he invites us to become disciples who labor with him in touching the lives of those who are “troubled and abandoned.” The need is so great, yet so few of us take up the call of our baptism and confirmation to work tirelessly with Jesus in bringing his message of truth and hope to a troubled and confused world. May the God of Life help each of us to understand the unique gifts we have been given so that we can accompany Jesus in announcing the Good News to a world that hungers for his love.

Questions: Do I see how desperately the world needs the truth of the Gospel?  Have I thought about how Jesus uniquely calls me to make his love and mercy known in a wounded and broken world? How might I be drowning out Jesus message to my own heart?

Pray: Loving God, you are the only hope for a broken and wounded world. Please give me a heart that is receptive to your love and mercy. Help me to accept your call to labor with you in announcing the Good News to a world that longs to know you.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Benedict: Pray for us!

Saint Benedict was born in Italy in the year 480. At Monte Cassino, near Naples, he wrote a Rule to “establish a school for the Lord’s service.” It provides a practical guide for monastic life, establishing the rhythms of prayer and work, and right relations among the monks. Pope Benedict XVI said: “For its moderation, humanity, and sober discernment between the essential and secondary in spiritual life, his Rule has retained its illuminating power even today.” The communities founded by Saint Benedict, including also Cistercian and Camaldolese monasteries, are found around the world. Today, Benedictines number more than 7,500 monks. Saint Benedict is considered the “Patriarch of Western Monasticism” and a patron of Europe. He died in 547.                                      

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