Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Hosea 8:4-7.11-13; Matthew 9:32-38)
Isn’t it strange that today’s gospel refers to the people as like sheep in one sentence and in the next as a field of harvest? Shepherds and farmers are notorious rivals. Witness Cain and Abel for example. Then why does Matthew mix these metaphors?
Perhaps he wants to contrast Jesus’ perspective with the narrow outlook of the Pharisees. The passage begins with the Pharisees accusing Jesus of casting out demons “by the prince of demons.” They refuse to include in their field of vision a positive reading of Jesus’ actions. Rather they choose to see him narrowly, as in league with the devil. Jesus, on the other hand, cures “every disease and illness.” His broad perspective allows him to resist evil and support goodness in all their forms.
We too should strive for inclusiveness. We must not approve bad behavior, but we should help everyone live good lives. Even those people commonly associated with bad behavior we need to care about. This is what Jesus means when he says, “The harvest is abundant…”