Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 3, 2016 – Year C
Readings: Is 66:10-14C / Ps 66 / Gal 6:14-18 / Lk 10:1-12, 17-20
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Anyone who has been involved in the pastoral care ministry of our church, either giving Holy Communion to the homebound or visiting those who are in hospitals, can attest that it is a very rewarding ministry. When I thank them for giving their time to those who are not well enough to be with us in the Mass, they usually reply that they get more out of it than they give.
In the more than thirty years of my pastoral ministry, I have heard hundreds of testimonies that listening to the sick, the homebound, to those who have problems and offering a shoulder to lean on for people who are experiencing difficulties in life, is a ministry in which the reward is almost immediate. You have the feeling that you are needed.
In today’s gospel, the Lord Jesus said, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few, so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers.” And then He said to them, “Go on your way.”
We know that when we received the sacrament of Baptism, we became not only sons and daughters of God and temples of the Holy Spirit, but we also became Christ’s disciples. He is sending each and every one of us on a mission. We may not have the privilege to be a part of pastoral care, or the teaching ministry, or the liturgical ministry, but we can all just go out and live our faith. Many in our world are spiritually homebound. St. Francis told his followers, “Go and proclaim the Gospel, and, if necessary, use words.” And, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “People don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
As members of God’s family, we are a group of people who care. And caring is not only a part of what we do, it is who we are. As our Lord Jesus said, “People will know that you are My disciples if you love one another.”
One of the most basic human desires is the longing to be needed. Here’s the good news: God, our Creator and our Lord, needs us. He is asking us to be His instrument of love for every person that we meet, every day of our lives. He is not expecting us to do something beyond our capability. As our Creator, He knows our talents and our abilities. And He also knows our limits. He is only asking us to be the best version of ourselves.
We are not only created in the image and likeness of God, we are temples of His Holy Spirit. If we feel inadequate or unworthy of God’s call, we should bear in mind that the Lord God is not only promising to be with us always. That is, He is not only with us, but He is also within us. The Lord Jesus Himself told us that with God nothing is impossible. And so, with Him, who needs us to go on a mission, everything is possible.