Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 18, 2023

June 18, 2023


June 18, 2023

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time



Murray, OP

Murray, OP

When I was growing up – and in school – over time I noticed differences

BETWEEN the teachers

 I remember that some teachers had the ability to bond with the whole class,

                       There was a buzz and a joy in the room,

                       Kids were motivated to learn more

                                   All were welcome – whether chatty or silent;

                                               Funny or serious –

                                                           Those at different learning stages.

                                                           I did not hear many labels.

One teacher I remember in particular in grade school –

 The class was rooted in the issues of the day;

           We had Deep and meaningful conversations about the Viet Nam war, civil rights, Poverty.  We could share how these huge realities were affecting us

Were impacting us personally.

I shared how my brother had to go to Viet Nam and she was able to use my struggle as a teaching moment and a moment of compassion for the whole class.

When we were studying World War II there was a girl from Japan in the class – who cried out about the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how horrific that was.   Our teacher reverenced that moment and responded with deep compassion, and taught us about compassionate listening.

We were free to share about how deep realities intersected into our own lives.

           She saw each child with possibility.

Each child was free to share her truth, be vulnerable and we were taught to respect each person.

That year every child grew and no one was left behind or left out.

Our world in that classroom was big – her heart was big – a lot of people belonged and were included.

Her authority was unquestioned and unchallenged and yet she did not dominate or rely on fear or manipulation or seeking favor.

In today’s gospel we see that

  Jesus saw the situation of the people of his time –

           With an even deeper compassion and authority of leadership

Than any we might experience in this world.

           Jesus’s compassion flows from God’s great love –

           Who has carried us on eagle’s wings –

           In those times of struggle in our personal lives,

            In those times of collective struggle

                       As a country that may have lost its way

                       As a world that has not yet figured out how to feed the vast majority, how to end war, how to preserve our planet.

Jesus saw how the social and religious reality was impacting the personal lives of the crowd.

                       The crowds living in Judea were dominated by another country Rome

Domination is a crushing type of leadership –

           Whether it is one country over another,

                       Or in a relationship.

What a challenging life that is – for the one dominating however

to not see someone else’s potential

what a limited and small world that can be.

In Jesus’s time, their experience of faith was also dominated by limits set by the Romans

and there was strong disagreement within the Jewish hierarchy about how to approach their times:  

submit to Rome or resist;

and disagreement about what it meant to follow; what did God really ask of us.



He saw what the people needed and he acted – he cured, he healed and he banished demons.

He made the impossible possible.

He taught, he preached, he healed and he chased out.

In this gospel we see Jesus offer a different way of leading

AS he calls 12 disciples to be his apostles.  

He is deeply rooted in the tradition in which he was raised, and in how God had shaped his people in the 12 tribes of Israel,

But Jesus saw God continuing to act in the context of his times;

As God acts in the context of our times.

The word apostle in Greek Apostolos

means the one sent.

Apostles are those to be sent –

To be ready to respond and engage in God’s mission

Proclaiming that the reign of heaven,

THAT God’s reality is not far off

It is here.

It is close by –

When we look at the world as it could be – what a great harvest !  

Yet, what do we need IN ORDER to reap the fullness of that harvest?


Jesus called upon the apostles to heal diseases that plagued his time

and calls upon us to cure what plagues us

– cancer of course, heart disease,

but also disease caused by hunger, malnutrition, the overwhelming imbalance in our world.

We need to heal those struggling in our streets with fentanyl and heroin,

We need to cast out forces that cause so much polarization from our own hearts and from our community;


Jesus grants the apostles authority and credibility to engage in his mission

Authority that does not come from domination, from command and control,

But from compassion.

Compassion is the power driving Jesus into action,

Compassion shapes his plan

Compassion is the ability to see others in their giftedness

and to share that ability to see others in their giftedness.

Jesus has that incredible gift of

Looking at one another with hope,

Seeing giftedness and seeing potential

Can waken spirits,

           Can be huge news to the other



                       Jesus is looking at us with such eyes,

Reminding us of God’s overwhelming love and faithfulness,

Of God’s fidelity to us – God’s care for us,

Calling us to believe, to trust in his authority and ALLOW HIM TO commission us,

To work through us

-       That we might be agents of change

-       Calling others to recognize the reign of God in our midst

-       And allowing ourselves to be sent.

First Reading

Ex 19:2-6a


Ps 100:1-2, 3, 5

Second Reading

Romans 5:6-11


Matthew 9:36—10:8
Read texts at usccb.org

Cathy Murray, OP

Cathy Murray, OP

Sr. Cathy Murray, M.Div./LCSW has had two ministries throughout her religious life weaving together social action and preaching. She ministered for fifteen years in parishes in Northern California as a pastoral associate where she preached regularly and led adult education programs as well as retreats. She has also ministered as a social work supervisor for Sonoma County Adult Protective Services. Today, she serves on the leadership team for her community, the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. Sr. Cathy has been a faithful member of a Twelve Step Program since she was a young adult.


Download our FREE Synodal Preaching Guide

Since the Synod on Synodality began in October 2021, Catholics have been invited into a new way of being church. Rooted in and flowing from the vision articulated in the Second Vatican Council, synodality offers a powerful vision of how to be the Body of Christ together, grounded in practices of respectful listening and sincere dialogue, centering the importance of shared baptismal dignity, and trusting that the Holy Spirit is the protagonist that guides discernment. Preaching is one area that can and must be informed by this invitation to synodality.

Catholic Women Preach offers this Synodal Preaching Guide as a resource for communities to practice synodality, nurturing it to take root locally. It is our hope that it will serve preachers and community leaders and members who break open the Word of God in their communities.

Download Your Copy of Our Synodal Preaching Guide

Advertise with Catholic Women Preach: email Russ at russ@futurechurch.org