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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Old Testament, Prophets

Abundance and Harvest

Submitted by on Saturday, 4 December 2010No Comment
  • Reading I:  Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147:1-2,5-6
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8

abundant-farms

Once more, Isaiah paints a picture of Jerusalem’s future with the Lord. He who "waits to show you favor, shall rise to show His compassion" (Is.30:18). And when He does, the people of Zion "will no longer weep" (v. 19). Below is an outline of the verses from 20-26, a list of the graces the people of Zion can expect from their Gracious God:

  • bread and water (20a)
  • the Teacher’s palpable guidance and the sound of His voice (20b-22)
  • rain for the sowing and rich produce (23a)
  • abundance of cattle and work animals never lacking in food (23b-24)
  • abundance of running water (25a)
  • there will be no space for darkness (25b-26a)
  • God the Healer’s presence among His people (26b)

Note that there will be no lack of bread and water in the city because the farm lands all around will be producing their fruits. No draughts will be experienced because the rain will come in its due time. These are the blessings of the Covenant made real not because of the people’s fidelity but because of the Lord’s faithfulness to it. God Himself will be in the midst of His people as the Teacher and Healer. He will instruct His people in the ways of holiness and care for them, bringing them health.

Jesus’ Compassion

The liturgy puts the text of Matthew 9:35-10:8 side-by-side with the above text from Isaiah because of the prophecy about God being present among His people as Teacher and Healer. "Jesus went around … teaching … and curing every disease and illness"(Matthew 9:35). Jesus, who has been previously called "Son of David" (yesterday’s liturgy) is here the image of the Good Shepherd who has concern for the "lost sheep of Israel".

Notice that Jesus regards the crowds who has come to Him not as "harvest". His compassion upon the crowds first moves Him to tell his disciples to pray for more harvest workers. In the harvest imagery implied, two groups of workers are envisioned: those that will use the sickle, and those walking behind who will pick up what has been cut. In the Apocalypse, a figure of a Son of Man wearing a crown comes on a cloud with a sickle. The harvest of the Last Days begins now in the work of Jesus and his disciples. That is the Apocalypse. In Matthew, we find the vision of the "harvest" as an occassion for the sending of the Twelve.

In Matthew 10:1, as if being granted the prayer for more workers, Jesus sends forth the Twelve, associating them to His work by giving them the authority "to cast out demons and cure every disease and illness." They are to go to the lost sheep of Israel (v. 6) for now. Later, after His Resurrection, he will be sending the same group, already restored, to make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28)

Guidelines for Actualization

Advent is a time for taking stock of our Mission as Church. Everytime we are told at the end of the Mass, "Ite missa est", we are being sent out once more to bring the good news of salvation to a world that awaits it. Or to put this in terms of Matthew’s narration, we are sent to harvest. The seed that is Christ has been sown, watered by the blood of the martyrs, and now we see God’s harvest all around us.

How are you contributing to the Church’s work of "harvesting"?

Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
19For the people of Sion shall dwell in Jerusalem: weeping thou shalt not weep, he will surely have pity on thee: at the voice of thy cry, as soon as he shell hear, he will answer thee.
20And the Lord will give you spare bread, and short water: and will not cause thy teacher to flee away from thee any more, and thy eyes shall see thy teacher.
21And thy ears shall hear the word of one admonishing thee behind thy back: This is the way, walk ye in it: and go not aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left.
23And rain shall be given to thy seed, wheresoever thou shalt sow in the land: and the bread of the corn of the land shall be most plentiful, and fat. The lamb in that day shall feed at large in thy possession:
24And thy oxen, and the ass colts that till the ground, shall eat mingled provender as it was winnowed in the floor.
25And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every elevated hill rivers of running waters in the day of the slaughter of many, when the tower shall fall.
26And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days: in the day when the Lord shall bind up the wound of his people, and shall heal the stroke of their wound.
Psalm 147:1-2,5-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Praise ye the Lord, because psalm is good: to our God be joyful and comely praise.
2The Lord buildeth up Jerusalem: he will gather together the dispersed of Israel.
5Great is our Lord, and great is his power: and of his wisdom there is no number.
6The Lord lifteth up the meek, and bringeth the wicked down even to the ground.
Matthew 9:35
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
35And Jesus went about all the cities, and towns, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease, and every infirmity.
Matthew 9:35
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
35And Jesus went about all the cities, and towns, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease, and every infirmity.
Matthew 10:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities.

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