Manila Bulletin

The twelve are sent


JESUS went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaimin­g the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. 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. 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.”

Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructin­g them thus, “Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamati­on: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”


PITY. Jesus has a heart for the troubled and abandoned. He compares them to sheep without a shepherd. Shepherdin­g in the Gospel is teaching the people, proclaimin­g the Kingdom of God, curing illnesses, driving out demons, and raising the dead. Jesus does all these, and he asks his disciples to do the same.

Christians have to develop a similar heart for the confused and abandoned. The confused are those who face contradict­ions without getting a resolution. Nobody tells them the right direction. They commit mistake after mistake. People are abandoned when their pastors or spiritual leaders are so busy doing other things that they no longer have time to look after the flock.

Jesus asks his disciples to pray for more pastors who are focused on instructin­g and uplifting the spirit and faith of the people, not on resurrecti­ng dead and irrelevant traditions, and who do not abandon their jobs as spiritual leaders. Some pastors have indeed become more active in temporal affairs that properly belong to lay people, rather than in preparing good homilies or being effective shepherds.

Pity is understood today as solidarity translated into making concrete moves to nurture the hungry faithful with solid spiritual food in an organized way.

Are you moved with pity for the faithful who hunger for love and thirst for justice but are abandoned by church leaders and pastors? What are you moved to do?

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