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  • Writer's pictureFr. Tien Cao

Love brings the best out of us

The Gospel of this 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (9:36-10:8) is normally used to promote the vocations to the priesthood and religious life, but it is also applied to all the baptised. It is about the power of Love that brings out the best in us. We can find inspiration in the remarkable story of Captain Sir Tom Moore, a one-hundred-year-old man from England. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, he embarked on a walk around the rest home to raise £1,000 for the health service. Little did he know that his act of love would become a beacon of hope, inspiring countless others to contribute. In the end, he raised nearly £40 million, demonstrating the extraordinary impact of love in action.

In the Gospel of Matthew (9:36-10:8), we see Jesus encountering a crowd of people who were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus did not turn a blind eye to their suffering. Instead, he shared his concerns with his disciples, saying, "The harvest is rich but the laborers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to his harvest." Just as Jesus involved his closest companions, he invites us to share our vision of love and compassion with those around us. When we express our concerns to the right people at the right time, love has the potential to ignite and spread like wildfire.

Imagine the excitement felt by the disciples when Jesus identified and invited them to be invested with the power of the Holy Spirit. They were sent out into towns and villages, witnessing incredible miracles. Sicknesses were cured, lepers were cleansed and restored, the dead were raised to life, and those possessed by the devils were liberated. Love, in action, had transformed their lives and the lives of those they encountered.

We too have a choice. We can choose to go through life confined within our own little bubbles and circles, or we can respond to the invitation of the Lord to be sent out. Pope Francis once urged young people, saying; ‘Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen. Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! Don’t be parked cars, but dream freely and make good decisions. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus!’ (Christus Vivit. No. 143).

Finally, let us not underestimate the impact of our little acts of love, as Jesus we all have a circle of intimate friends that we can share our concerns for others. May we embrace the invitation to be laborers in the Lord's harvest and allow love to ignite our actions, bringing the best out of our hidden selves.

Fr. Tien Cao

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