Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 6
May Each of Us Respond to the Divine in Our Own Lives, Becoming Interiorly Transformed, Becoming Christ-like Examples of Love and Charity in Both Compassionate and Selfless Service to One Another.
“His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” – words which we find in today’s Gospel.
I mentioned this once before in a previous meditation, but I am sure that most of us remember hearing stories about the different cults which have cropped up at one time or another – the gatherings of entire families who were starving for spiritual nourishment, innocent men and women who hung on every word spoken by some charismatic leader, who knew how to feed their hunger with words of hope, words of encouragement.
Please do not misunderstand me – far be from me to give credence to cults which were founded under questionable circumstances, for many ended sadly in disaster! And the ones that come immediately to mind are Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre in the South American country of Guyana, and David Koresh and the Branch Davidian sect which ended in death in Waco, Texas. And there are many others too numerous to mention, which also ended very sadly.
But what many of the followers of these charismatic leaders and others had in common was a deep-seated desire, an overwhelming hunger to reach out and touch the Divine, a great interior need to be fed spiritually!
Even though these followers were terribly misled by those who claimed to be prophets, seers and messiahs, these men and women, many whom I am sure were innocent victims, were “like sheep without a shepherd” – wandering, searching for anything which would satisfy their spiritual hunger.
And the Gospel tells us today, “At the sight of the crowds, [Jesus’] heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned…”
Even Jacob, in our First Reading today, after realizing that he had been wrestling all night with a Divine being, probably an angel, did not wish to let him go.
For those of us who have been touched by God’s gift of faith, for those of us who choose to embrace this gift – a gift freely offered and freely given by a God who loves each one of us beyond human measure or understanding – we are not unlike Jacob. We, too, have been seized by the Divine and we, too, do not wish to let go, for we recognize the gift for what it truly is!
We have come to know and believe that our God is a God of Love. He is a God who only wishes to fill us with His peace. He is a God who desires that we return His Love in such a way that we place Him first and foremost in our lives, placing into practice and truly living His teachings here on this side of Heaven – thereby insuring our eternal life at His side in His Kingdom.
The words of today’s psalmist not only echo the love and faith which Jacob held for his God, they also echo our own faith and love in Christ Jesus, “I in justice shall behold your face; on waking, I shall be content in your presence.”
When we look around us at the direction in which today’s society is traveling, when we become witness to the many seductions to which our youth are being constantly subjected by today’s culture on a daily basis, I can only imagine that our Lord looks at us today with the same sad expression, and with pity in His Heart, as He did long ago –
Governments across the world are endorsing wholesale distribution of artificial birth control items to young children; society in general has openly endorsed a culture of death, whereby the rights of the unborn are not recognized, and, in some countries, abortion becomes a form of birth control which is used to regulate population growth and gender selection.
Wholesome family values have been diminished to such a point that even same-sex attractions and life styles are now taught to our children in many of the educational systems throughout the world, and many governmental institutions are embracing and legitimizing same-sex marriages. And in some countries, even the rights of the sick and elderly are frowned upon, to the point where euthanasia is being more openly practiced and encouraged.
And I am sure that each one of us could continue to elaborate on this very distressing and long list which runs counter to God’s will for His children. As a sad consequence, when all is “said and done”, we find that there are many in today’s world, even those who call themselves Christian, who are confused by all that is unfolding around us and feel “…troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.”
As I have written in previous meditations, each one of us, by virtue of our Baptism into the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, are called to give witness to God’s Truth. By virtue of our being members of the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ, we are each called to reach out to our brothers and sisters in a non-judgmental way, by loving and caring for each other as Christ loves us.
Our Gospel ends today with our Lord delivering a brief but sobering commentary on the hunger which persists and is oftentimes all-consuming in the hearts and souls of those who seek to reach out and touch the Divine, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
We are each called, no matter what our vocation in life may be – married or single, layperson or cleric – to be extensions of Christ in the world, to be a holy example for others to see and follow, even if our efforts only impact one soul at a time!
God does not expect each of us to do great things. He does not expect us to be missionary evangelists, reaching out to make a difference in the world.
But with what He has given us, and with the gifts and responsibilities which we do have, God does expect us to do the little things in our lives that can make a difference, and that we do them with a sincere and heartfelt love.
For it was Saint Mother Teresa who was once quoted as saying, “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”
May each of us, with a compassionate and selfLESS love and an unselfish giving of ourselves, serve the Lord and each of His children whom He has placed in our lives, with an open heart and a willing soul; so that, with the help of His grace, we may assist in the building up of His Kingdom here on Earth as it is in Heaven!
And may each of us become interiorly transformed, becoming Christ-like examples of love and charity in service to one another.
For it is in the virtue of charity which we give to others that you and I will be able to respond to the Divine in our own lives, as Jacob did in his, as we, too, cry out our need for God in our individual walks of faith – a cry which will come from the very depths of our hearts, making Jacob’s words our own –
“I will not let you go until you bless me!” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
- “…let me see your face; when I awake, let me filled with your presence.” (Psalm 17:15)
- “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)
- “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’” (Matthew 9:37-38)
- “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10)
- “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
- “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.” (Hebrews 13:16)
- “For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” (1 John 5:3-4)
- “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Romans 12:2a)
- “… [Lord], I will not let you go until you bless me.” (Genesis 32:27b)
Prayer for the Day
“Lord Jesus, our Glorious Savior,Anonymous
We humbly give to You our lives;
do with us as Your Providence wills,
for Your greater honor and glory.
“Make our lives useful to Your service.
The only ambition we have is to humbly
and honestly fulfill Your Divine will.
In this, we wish to lift up Your Name Jesus, not ours.
“We desire to make known the power of Your Spirit,
the Holy Spirit of Divine Love and Truth.
We want You to claim us for Yourself,
and use us according to Your Divine purpose.
“And no matter the task
which You assign to us in life,
we will be contented and full of joy
to fulfill our purpose as disciples of Your Spirit.
“Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit live in us always,
guiding us to live a virtuous and fruitful life,
always pleasing to You and helpful to our neighbor,
as we help to build up the Body of Christ.
“Fill our lives with meaning and our hearts with hope.
And when our time here is complete,
bless us with eternal life in Your Heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus, we pray this in Your Most Holy Name. Amen.”