You are Sent to Unveil the God of Consolation, the God of Strength & the Inclusive God. | Word from the Shepherd No. 101 | 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A


28th Ordinary Sunday A
Isa. 25:6-10; Ph. 4:12-14,19-20; Mt. 22:1-14

It was Christmas night, the worshipers were emerging from the church after the mass. It was cold, windy and snowing. There he saw 2 figures huddled together, sheltering near some stairs. He Bishop Bernard Paul became angry and shouted at God: “Why do you allow this to happen? What are you going to do for them.” In that cold, he heard a voice say: “I sent you.”

Like in Isaiah’s time, the people today are looking and longing for consolation. A decadent Temple, a nation for the rich and a ritualistic religion had taken over. Safeguarding the institutions and the priesthood became important. They were longing for consolation, to be fed, to bear up their mourning, to wipe away their tears and to take away their shame. Today I see it happening in the diocese. I see it happening again all over the world.

How did the people then manage with the trying and testing times?

  1. In Isaiah’s time, the words of consolation of the prophet was their hope. The people began to see God and His word as their hope and salvation.
  2. To the Philippians, Paul unveiled the God who enabled them to endure, to adapt, to live in any situation, to embrace their times of wealth and poverty, fullness and emptiness, plenty and little, good times and hard times. They saw God as their strength.
  3. In Matthew, the people, the chief priests and elders, were introduced to the God who included all, involved all and invited all. But not all abided or wanted to be invited. There were those who rejected the invitation, abused the messengers who were sent to them, and they did not abide the terms of the invitation. And they were not dressed for the occasion.

Coming into God’s presence, and where the Kingdom is emerging,

  1. God offers to all of us Consolation to bear pain, burdens and disappointments.
  2. God offers to all of us Strength to live in any situation in order to survive and endure.
  3. God offers to all of us Inclusive relationship that includes everyone and more, the ‘new Catholics’ ie. the homeless, the jobless, the migrants, the refugees and the victims of trafficking.

Just as the Voice that night told the complainer: “I sent you.” The Lord is also sending you and me as positive agents of change and missionary disciples to console, to be strong, to strengthen and include all, the good and the bad.


Word from the Shepherd No. 101