AD SENSE

14th Week, Tuesday, Jul 7

Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13 / Matthew 9:32-38 
Hosea warns Israel: “Sow the wind; reap a storm.”

A building contractor built large luxury homes. To increase his profits, he routinely cheated on the materials he put into his homes. He had it down to such a science that no one could detect his shortcuts. At times his cheating was so bad that the homeowners were in serious danger because of under-designed electrical systems and the like.
The contractor’s shortcuts were especially dangerous in the final home he built for the company for which he worked. Even he worried about some things in that home. Imagine the contractor’s consternation when the company gave him this home as a gift. It would be the home in which he would spend his retirement years. Hosea warned Israel that she had sown the wind. Now she would reap a storm.
****
What is the quality of the work we do? “All who take the sword will die by the sword.” Matthew 26:52
****
Just a general reading of the gospels can give us a sense that it was an exciting time when Jesus was around. All that sounded very exciting and especially when Jesus summoned His disciples and gave them authority to heal diseases and drive out evil spirits. Yes, all that sounds very exciting at that time. Yet it is no less exciting now. Because we are the current day disciples.

The imagery that Jesus gives us is a crop that is ripe for harvest. And that is the urgency. If there is no harvesting, then consequently the crop will be rotting. And to think that there are people out there who will be rotting spiritually just because we are not answering the call to be disciples of Jesus is a sad and disturbing thought.

The call to discipleship is first and foremost to be labourers of the harvest, and that is going to be tough work. Yes, we pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life. But we also need to pray for ourselves that we will be awakened by the call to be labourers of the Lord's harvest. It's going to be a lot of tough work, but it is always exciting to be working for the boss who is none other than the Lord Hi
mself.
****

Tuesday July 7 
Tuesday of 14th Week in Ordinary Time 
SHEEP WITHOUT SHEPHERDS 

Introduction 
The people of God in the OT deserted God for idols – false gods, sham gods of their own making. They tried to fashion a god in their own image and likeness. Are we Christians free from idolatry? We make our own idols and bend our knees to them – some in the crude way: God is for Sundays; power, money, the horoscope for weekdays, or drugs and escapists pleasure; others in a milder way, but perhaps equally destructive of people and of God in us: efficiency, time-saving and speed, mechanization of life, comfort. Even the pious person may have his little idols: his devotions, his institutions, his intolerance, and his tendency to turn laws and authority into absolutes. Who is our God? Jesus was spreading his message of good news in word and deed. Today he asks us that there may be among us many who hear his invitation to continue his work and to bring his liberating compassion to the people of our day. At least all of us should pray for such messengers, for the need is urgent. 

Opening Prayer 
Our God with a heart, in your Son Jesus Christ you have shown us your compassion for all that is weak Give us shepherds who care for your people and nourish them with faith and trust in you and with an unselfish love that knows how to serve even without waiting for gratitude. Let it be the kind of gratuitous love that you have shown us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Commentary 
Nothing had greater importance in Israelite life than the authentic worship of Yahweh, and yet the Israelites were continually falling short in this area. Not only did Israel establish its own monarchy, but Samaria became a center of illicit worship. Two calves of gold, set up in the early years of the northern monarchy, were created to offset Jerusalem as the center of worship. The altars that had been erected in the northern kingdom became places of sin. Hosea shows deep concern for the waywardness of his people and assures them that punishment for sin will not be delayed. Jesus’ frontal attack on evil appears today in his exorcisms and healings. The contrast is striking. The Israelites stand in opposition to the God who had saved them. Jesus, the agent of forgiveness, brings healing and God’s gentleness to troubled souls. This is at the very heart of Christian ministry—concern for the suffering, outreach to the needy. Christ prays today for laborers for the harvest. The opportunities are countless, but it takes willing collaborators to bring Christ to others. Each of us has a distinct Christian calling to bring Christ to the world. The need has never been greater than it is today. Ask yourself, In what way can I contribute to the work of the harvest? 

Points to Ponder 
Human disregard for God’s love Jesus’ way of confronting evil My contribution to the harvest 

Intercessions 
– For the Church, the People of God, that the Lord may give us shepherds who reconcile and animate with fairness and love, we pray:
 – For all our Christian communities, that we may trust and support our pastors, dialogue with them and share their burdens, we pray:
– For all of us, that Christ’s care for us may inspire us to nourish one another with words of encouragement and hope and deeds of support, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Tender and compassionate God, you give us food and drink to sustain us on the road of life. See how many people today are needy and rudderless and give them shepherds to guide them in life, to nourish them with your living word and with the food of lasting life, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion 
Lord our God, your Son Jesus still goes around today to our cities and towns far and near. Let his word be to all of us good news of liberation from the diseases of our hearts and bodies and make us pass on this message to the people around us, at least by the way we live it. We ask this through Christ our Lord. 

Blessing 
Let us be and proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom on earth by our goodness and compassion. May almighty God bless you for this task, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.