Faith Daily | 6 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p552
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you,
that, loving you above all things,
we may obtain your promises
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 9: 32-38
32 After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. 33And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.’ 34But the Pharisees said, ‘By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.’*
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Cathy Grant
We’ve heard so many stories of our farmers in Queensland struggling to pick their crops in due time during the COVID travel lockdown of the last year. So few backbackers to help during the peak times. Such a small window to gather in precious fruit and veggies at their peak. “There’s plenty of harvest to be had, but not many workers!”
Jesus had a way of using metaphors that resonated with his listeners. In this passage Jesus describes the people as eager for God’s kingdom but not knowing where to look to find it, a people ready and waiting for God to act but not realizing that the one who will lead them is already present and acting. They were a field full of wheat in need of harvesting, or using the other farming imagery, sheep without a shepherd.
In this part of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus the shepherd, anointed son of the Master of the harvest, has just performed two chapters of healing miracles – he is providing the leadership that Israel so badly needed, in deep compassion, sorrow and love. Those who had other agendas, who hoped to themselves be the leaders for the kingdom, Jesus’ opponents, saw their chance and rather than encouraging people to understand he was truly from God, slandered him as prince of demons casting out demons.
Jesus challenged his disciples to realise that they themselves were the workers who must bring in the harvest. This is also a message for us – if not us, who? How are we to be part of God’s great plan to harvest his fields and spread his message?
FINAL PRAYER: “I the Lord of sea and sky” TiS 658
I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord; is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night;
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.