Homily (Reflection) for the Fourteenth Sunday of the Year, (C) (3rd July, 2016) on the Gospel
Is 66:10-14;Ps 65:1-7.16.20. (R. v. 1);
Lk 10:1-12.17-20 or 10:1-9.
Topic: Discipleship and mission.
Jesus appointed and sent seventy disciples on mission in today’s gospel. While addressing them, He said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” Till today, the paucity of labourers cannot be overemphasized. The understanding of labourers in the Lord’s vineyard as something reserved for selected few makes the matter worse.
“A woman once attended a mission conducted in her parish. She was so inspired, that she approached the preacher and said, ‘I feel that God is calling me to preach the Gospel. The problem, however, is that I have nine children. What should I do?’
The preacher replied, ‘Praise the Lord for giving you this inspiration, for calling you to preach his Word. Don’t you see he has already provided you with a Congregation?’”
Disciple (Christian) is another word for an evangelizer. Every Christian who deserves the name is an evangelizer. We are all members of Christ’s body, cf. Eph 5:30. Regrettably, this eludes many today.
As Christians, “...we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake” (2Cor 4:5). Christ came and preached peace to those who were far and near, cf. Eph 2:17. He further said to the seventy, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’” Saint Paul adhered strictly to this in all his letters, cf. Rom 1:7b; 1Cor 1:3; 2Cor 1:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 1:2; Col 1:2b; 1Thess 1:1c; 2Thess 1:2; 1Tim 1:2b; 2Tim 1:2b; Tit 1:4b; Philem 1:3, and so on.
Many proclaim themselves today; boasting how many they have cursed. Our “God is a God not of disorder but of peace” (1Cor 14:33).
We are called to bring peace to others not war. We ought to pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (Rom 14:19). Remember, “If any one says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1Jn 4:20). St. Paul rightly advised us: “Mend your ways, heed my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2Cor 13:11).
Christ is our peace, cf. Eph 2:14. Absence of Christ is characterised by war, “And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you”. The Letter to the Hebrews reads, “Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). However, being peaceful does not mean condoning evil nor condemning evil synonymous with condemning the evil doer, cf. Jn 8:11.
In conclusion, every Christian is a labourer in the Lord’s vineyard called to spread the gospel. This mission is not a call to open war fronts but to mend bridges. It demands extra grace to convert an enemy.
Bible Reading: Gal 5:22-26; Eph 2:11-22.
Thought for today: Be an ambassador of peace.
Let us pray with St Francis of Assisi:Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life– Amen.
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