11th Sunday OT A June 12, 2005 “Troubled and Abandoned”

Preached on June 12, 2005. On the passage “they were troubled and abandoned.”
Full Text :
Homily — 11th Sunday OT A June 12, 2005  

At the sight of the crowds, Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for them, because they were troubled and abandoned .

My brothers and sisters in Christ, there are so many people out there troubled and abandoned.

Troubled by illness, depression, financial hardships. Troubled by violence, terrorism, by family problems. Troubled by their conscience, troubled by all kinds of doubts.

Being troubled is bad enough, but how many people there are who are not just troubled but troubled and abandoned.

Abandoned by the false gods they put their hope in to save them from their troubles.

Some make gods out of money, pleasure, diversions, or career ambitions. Others make gods out of politics, or family relations. Still others make very sophisticated gods out of complex modern ideas and philosophies.

And every one of these so-called gods will ultimately abandon those who worship them. What they thought would make them happy and save them from their troubles has abandoned them and left them with even more troubles than before.

At the sight of the crowds, Jesus’ heart was moved with pity for them, because they were troubled and abandoned.

My brothers and sisters, a follower of Christ is neither troubled nor abandoned.

We may have troubles, but our troubles don’t trouble us. As St. Paul says “what can separate us from Christ’s love? Will sickness, or distressing situations, or violence, or financial problems or natural disasters or persecution separate us? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through Jesus Christ.”

He goes on to write “I am certain that no present thing nor any future thing is able to separate us from God’s love.” No present situation, no future situation should trouble us followers of Christ.

And Christ, the only True God, never abandons us. We can choose to abandon Him and put gods of money or politics or pleasure or family over Him, but He’s always there to take us back. And if we keep Him over our whole life, if we truly make Him the Lord of our career and our family and our body, He will never fail to deliver and prosper and increase us in ways beyond our imagining.

Hopefully all of us here realize this. But there are many we meet every day in the world who don’t know Christ or have forgotten about Christ and so go about very troubled and very abandoned.

And as Jesus’ heart bleeds for these lost sheep, so our hearts should also bleed and weep for them.

How do we as a Church corral the crowds of lost sheep?

Jesus gives only one answer: pray that God calls Christians to be priests, religious and lay apostles.

Every day we should all be praying for vocations to come from our parish, especially priestly and religious vocations.

But really, God is calling all of us to go after the troubled and abandoned sheep in our neighborhoods and places of work.

God calls very ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Just look at the men God chose to be Apostles.

I don’t know if you heard about this letter, some people say it might have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. It’s a letter written to Jesus the Carpenter from Jordan Management Consultants.

(The Letter reads) Dear Jesus: Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests, and we have not only run the results through our computers, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocation aptitude consultant.

It is the opinion of the staff that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capacity.
We have summarized the findings of our study below:

Simon Peter is emotional, unstable and given to fits of temper.

The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interests above Company loyalty.

Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale.

We believe it is our duty to tell you that Matthew has been black-listed by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau.

Simon the Zealot definitely has radical political leanings; and Bartholomew (A.K.A. Nathaniel) has a tendency to prejudge individuals based on what town they come from.

However, one of the candidates shows great potential. He’s a man of ability and resourcefulness; he is a great networker; has a keen business mind; and has strong contacts in influential circles. He’s highly motivated, very ambitious and adept with financial matters. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your Controller and Chief Operating Officer.

All the other profiles are self-explanatory. We wish you the utmost success in your new venture.

Jesus chose the Twelve with all their imperfections, and He sent them out to bring back the lost sheep. And by the grace of the Holy Spirit they brought many people to Christ.

In the same way, Jesus choses you with all your imperfections, and each week Jesus sends you out to bring back the lost sheep by your actions and words.

I think we have all come here this Sunday for Mass (unless some of you just came for the free Air Conditioning!). Well, who knows what the word “Mass” means? It means “the sending forth” — Remember “Ite, Missa est” from the Latin Mass? “Missa”, Dismissed, Go, get out of here!

We come here, receive Jesus sacramentally in our hearts just as the apostles once did, and are all “sent forth” into the world to bring hope to the troubled and abandoned in our midst.

And with Jesus’ blessing as we go forth, we imperfect sinners have all that we need to gloriously accomplish whatever mission Christ is sending us on.

Comments are closed.