Tuesday, July 9, 2019

“The complexities of life can never be untangled by man; like a sheep without a shepherd we have been self-programmed for destruction because we are all sinners……… Jesus Christ is the only way.”

I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him. – Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), also known as Napoleon I, was a French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. 

Gospel Text: (MT 9:32-38)
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
"Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
But the Pharisees said,
"He drives out demons by the prince of demons."

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."

We can’t pretend that evil does not exist inside ourselves as much as in the hearts of others.  We all have our demons that need to be driven out of our lives.  But the good news of the Gospel is that we don’t have to do that alone.  We have a savior whose presence is always with us.

That brings to my mind the 23rd Psalm.  “The Lord is my shepherd” and “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me” are comforting words.  In our readings for today, Jesus comforts us again with the words, “I am the good shepherd.”  He sees us in the throes of evil as sheep without a shepherd and takes pity on us. But he doesn’t just rescue us from harm to live untroubled lives.  Jesus saves us for something bigger -- to labor in the harvest of righteousness. 

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