June 18, 2023 — Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
EX 19:2-6A; PS 100:1-2, 3, 5; ROM 5:6-11; MK 1:15; MT 9:36-10:8
As Catholics, we are called to live lives of stewardship and discipleship, recognizing that our faith is not just a set of beliefs, but a way of life. The readings for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time provide us with profound insights into these essential aspects of our Christian journey. Let us reflect on the messages contained within these readings and consider how they relate to our role as stewards and disciples.
In the first reading from Exodus, we witness the encounter between God and His chosen people at Mount Sinai. The Lord, through Moses, reminds the Israelites of His faithfulness and the covenant He has established with them. This covenant is not merely a contract, but a sacred relationship built on love and trust. This reminds us of our vocation as stewards and disciples. They invite us to embrace the call to stewardship by recognizing our responsibility to care for God’s creation and to generously share our gifts with others. Furthermore, they inspire us to deepen our commitment to discipleship, seeking to live in accordance with God’s will and growing in our relationship with Him.
In practicing stewardship, we recognize that our resources are not ours alone, but gifts entrusted to us by God. We are called to use these resources wisely, responsibly, and selflessly, considering the needs of others and promoting the common good. Our discipleship, on the other hand, challenges us to continually seek the transformative power of God’s love in our lives, as we strive to imitate Christ and spread His message of hope and salvation.
In our second reading from Romans, St. Paul beautifully articulates the depths of God’s love for humanity. He reminds us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, reconciling us with God and offering us the gift of salvation. These verses reveal the heart of the Gospel message and provide us with a foundation for understanding stewardship and discipleship.
We are reminded of the transformative power of God’s love and the essential role stewardship and discipleship play in our Christian journey. As stewards, we are called to gratefully recognize God’s abundant love and respond by using our gifts and resources to build His kingdom. We are invited to be active participants in sharing the Good News, embracing reconciliation, and extending God’s love to others. Through discipleship, we become vessels of God’s love, imitating Christ’s self-sacrificial nature. Our lives bear witness to the transformative power of God’s grace, drawing others closer to Him. In our stewardship and discipleship, we discover the joy of participating in God’s redemptive work, bringing hope and healing to a broken world.
The Gospel reading from Matthew recounts how Jesus is moved with compassion as He sees the crowds who are like sheep without a shepherd. He commissions His disciples, empowering them to continue His mission of healing and preaching the Kingdom of God. These verses reveal important insights into stewardship and discipleship within the context of our Catholic faith.
Stewardship calls us to imitate the compassion of Christ towards others. Like the Good Shepherd, we are called to have hearts filled with empathy and concern for those who are lost, suffering, or in need. Stewardship challenges us to extend a helping hand, offer comfort, and meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Stewardship and discipleship are intimately connected in our Catholic faith. Stewardship is not limited to the responsible use of material possessions but extends to the care and love we show towards all of God’s creation. As disciples, we are called to embrace the responsibility of being stewards of God’s gifts, utilizing them for the benefit of others and the greater glory of God.
Today’s gospel invites us to reflect on the inseparable relationship between stewardship and discipleship. As stewards, we are called to cultivate a heart of compassion, recognize the needs of others, and respond with selfless acts of love and service. We are entrusted with the responsibility of caring for one another, especially the most vulnerable in society.
As disciples, we are called to actively participate in Christ’s mission, sharing the Good News and bringing the light of the Kingdom of God into the world. Our discipleship demands that we live in accordance with Christ’s teachings, serving as His ambassadors of love, mercy, and reconciliation.
By living a life of stewardship and discipleship, we are challenged to move beyond our comfort zones, embracing the call to serve and witness to the transformative power of Christ’s love. This requires a willingness to step out in faith, be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and to be instruments of God’s grace and healing.