Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8
Jesus looked out upon the crowd and his heart was moved with pity. The people were troubled and felt abandoned; like sheep without a shepherd they felt insecure. Today, we look out and see people who also feel troubled and abandoned. Troubled by the economy, mortgage failures, foreclosures, loan rejections, investments and home values falling, cost of living rising, retirement security becoming insecure and cut backs at work. We see people who feel abandoned by the government, corporations, Wall Street, employers and banks. An anxiety pervades the land.
The people in Isaiah’s time felt troubled and abandoned, that things are going badly. Yet God intervenes to give them a message of hope. Rain will fall upon the seed in the ground, mountains will pour forth streams of running water, the moon will be as bright as the sun, the darkness in their lives will fade.
In the gospel, Jesus sent out the twelve to help heal the troubled and abandoned. He instructs them to cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers and drive out demons. Maybe we don’t see ourselves performing those particular actions. On the other hand, God is calling us to go out to the troubled and abandoned to comfort the sick, bring encouragement to those whose spirits are breaking and to drive out the demons of fear. We are invited by God to bring light into darkness, to quell the frightened hearts and to help others think bravely and clearly.
Life is not safe, but life is good. Life is good because God is good. We can turn to God, who is with us. No matter where we are, God takes our hand and walks beside us. There is no better news. There is no greater security. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Fr. Don Webber, C.P. is Provincial Superior of Holy Cross Province and resides in Chicago.