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Sunday, June 16, 2002

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11th Sunday Ordinary Time

Exodus 19:2-6
Romans 5:6-11
Psalm 100
Matthew 9:36—10:8

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the working wounded

"Workers are few." —Matthew 9:37, our transl.

Jesus looked at our broken lives and broken hearts, and His heart welled up with love and mercy (see Mt 9:36). Jesus decided to bring hope and healing to us by calling the wounded to be healers, the helpless to be helpers, and the exhausted to be servants. This is a peculiar plan. It is as if a hospital administrator asked the patients in intensive care to do surgery on the other patients. However, Jesus makes this seemingly impractical and humanly impossible plan work by giving to those who answer His call "authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind" (Mt 10:1).

Because human beings are selfish, hurt, and understandably doubtful about the practicality of Jesus' plan, many refuse to work for Jesus. Thus, the workers are few, although the harvest is great (Mt 9:37). However, Jesus wants to change this. He calls us to "beg the Harvest Master to send out laborers to gather His harvest" (Mt 9:38). If we pray this prayer, we are agreeing to work for Jesus. For how can we ask God to send workers and not be willing to work ourselves?

In summary, Jesus has a plan to heal and save the broken-hearted. His plan seems impractical, but by His almighty power He can make it work. Jesus wants us to work for Him and to pray for workers. If we pray for workers, we are implying that we too will work. Therefore, pray for workers as you work for Jesus. He will work despite and even through your weakness and brokenness (see 2 Cor 1:4; 12:9).

Prayer:  Father, make my motto that of St. Benedict: "to pray and to work."

Promise:  "At the appointed time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for us godless men." —Rm 5:6

Praise:  Praise the risen Christ, our only Hope! Praise You, Lord Jesus, for healing us by Your wounds (1 Pt 2:24).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001