This week we return to Ordinary Time for our Sunday liturgy.  We go back to Matthew’s Gospel and pick up this year’s walk through his Gospel.

The Gospel of Matthew is distinctive for its practice of citing the Old Testament in  connection with Jesus’ activity and teaching.  The Gospel is also known for a structured presentation of Jesus’ doctrine in the form of sermons or discourses.   Each discourse is followed by collections of miracle accounts and incidents which reflect Jesus’ doctrinal teaching.

On this 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time we pick up Matthew’s narrative with Jesus’ discourse to His  apostles concerning their mission.  They are to  proclaim what Jesus proclaimed: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  They are to do what Jesus did: “cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. “He tells His apostles that their mission was to be directed “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.

Jesus wants to restore God’s flock and give them guiding shepherds.  He does so by choosing the “twelve.” The twelve apostles were appointed and instructed so that the people of God would be renewed and shepherded.  Jesus sends out His disciples as laborers to bring in the abundant harvest of God’s restored people.

Matthew is telling his community that they, the Church, are to carry on Jesus’ work, we are to imitate Him in our service.  We are not only to minister to those in need, but to do so out of compassion and love.

God Bless

Msgr. Powell