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14th Week Tuesday: Reflections

14th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 10-07-18
Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13 / Matthew 9:32-37

It is said that it took one day for the Israelites to get out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to get Egypt off the Israelites.
During those 40 years of wandering in the desert, Israel was always complaining against Moses and the Lord God.
They were punished with deadly bites from fiery serpents and a whole generation of Israelites perished in the desert during those 40 years.

But even when they finally entered the Promised Land, they continued to defy the Lord God by worshiping idols and being unfaithful to the Lord God.

As we heard in the 1st reading, even God seems to be asking: How long will it be before they purge themselves of this, the sons of Israel?

And the 1st reading concludes with this very sad statement: He is now going to remember their iniquity and punish their sins; they will have to go back to Israel!

The 1st reading ended off with punishment, but the gospel proclaims the good news of salvation with Jesus curing all kinds of diseases and sickness and casting out devils.

The time of rebellion and punishment has come to an end with the coming of Jesus. Now is the time of salvation and redemption.

Let us not be rebels but be labourers of the Lord's harvest and work for the Lord to bring out His people from the Egypt of sin and slavery.

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 Himself.

(Fr. Stephen Yim)