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My Time Is Not My Own

First Reading: Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26

Thus says the Lord GOD,
the Holy One of Israel:
O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem,
no more will you weep;
He will be gracious to you when you cry out,
as soon as he hears he will answer you.
The Lord will give you the bread you need
and the water for which you thirst.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or to the left.
He will give rain for the seed
that you sow in the ground,
And the wheat that the soil produces
will be rich and abundant.
On that day your flock will be given pasture
and the lamb will graze in spacious meadows;
The oxen and the asses that till the ground
will eat silage tossed to them
with shovel and pitchfork.
Upon every high mountain and lofty hill
there will be streams of running water.
On the day of the great slaughter,
when the towers fall,
The light of the moon will be like that of the sun
and the light of the sun will be seven times greater
like the light of seven days.
On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people,
he will heal the bruises left by his blows.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
Praise the LORD, for he is good;
sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
it is fitting to praise him.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
the dispersed of Israel he gathers.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;
he calls each by name.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
Great is our LORD and mighty in power:
to his wisdom there is no limit.
The LORD sustains the lowly;
the wicked he casts to the ground.
R. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.

Gospel: Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5A, 6-8

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.”
Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

 NAB

dec 5

Nothing that I have is my own. All that I have has been given to me, from the moment of my first breath until the day I draw my last. All is His, and all is on loan.

I forget this over and over again, springing out of bed each morning (or stumbling to the coffeemaker, as it were) with my!big!plans! already churning in my brain and then suddenly, a stomach ache. Somebody is spilling something. An urgent text message from a struggling friend. An email from work.

My time is not my own.

But oh, how I fight this. And I think “if only I had x or y, I could surely get z done today.” But too often I forget to consult the One who should be directing my path, the One who has loaned me the time on this earth and the family within these four walls.

Lord, Don’t you see how much I could get done if I didn’t have to stop and wipe this nose or sit down and feed that mouth? If he would only sleep through the night, I’d have enough energy to perform at the highest level.

And on and on.

But He gently reminds me, without cost you have received, without cost you are to give.

When I receive the day and all its uncertainties and frustrations as coming from the hands of my good Father, suddenly the universe shifts on its axis, and I can see that if walking in His will means accepting this moment, and this one, and also this one . . . it changes everything.

The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. 

I want to contribute to that abundant harvest Lord, I long to serve You.

Then feed my sheep. These sheep. The ones who look like you and share your last name. Once they’re taken care of, once I’ve seen you can be faithful in small matters—which are, after all, the most important—I might give you more to do. But first? Serve them.

Without cost you have received, and without cost you are to give.

Look at the lost sheep in your own family, in your own little community of influence. This is your mission field. Love them today, wholeheartedly, without counting the cost. Especially the one (and you know there’s always one!) who is the hardest to love.

photo by Edenn Yorks

Jenny Uebbing is a freelance writer and a blogger and editor for Catholic News Agency. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Dave and their growing family. You can find out more about her thoughts on Catholicism, sex, politics and parenting here

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