July 7, 2019 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
From the Book of Isaiah (66:10-14C)Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
that you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
as a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.When you see this, your heart shall rejoice
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
the LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.
Responsorial Psalm PS 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
From the Letter of Paul to the Galatians (6:14-18)Brothers and sisters:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,
but only a new creation.
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule
and to the Israel of God.From now on, let no one make troubles for me;
for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers and sisters. Amen.
From the Gospel of Luke (10:1-9)At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'”
Do you also desire peace and prosperity for your family and for our community? I am sure that each of us desire this kind of life. With all the troubles that we experience in life such as personal problems, failures and struggles; family demands, conflicts and grudges; and crimes, disasters and corruption in the community, we want peace. If only we have peace within ourselves, in our families and communities, then, our life would be very different.
Such promise of peace and abundance had been prophesied by Isaiah. We have heard it from the first reading on how Isaiah had seen the day when Jerusalem will be comforted with peace and prosperity. The people of Israel agonized much from oppression and slavery. Wars had been waged left and right and the people suffered greatly from these devastations.
Yet, God is not blind of this suffering. In God’s goodness, peace and prosperity will be upon his suffering people. That is why, the message of Isaiah is, “rejoice and be glad.” God will see to it that He will comfort the grieving and suffering people. God’s comfort will surely bring joy, peace and satisfaction.
Similarly, Paul in his letter to the Galatians also expressed his experience of peace and confidence in Jesus. Despite the many trials that he underwent, Paul found peace and confidence in Jesus. Even the conflicts within Christian communities will never destroy the peace that he received from the cross of Jesus which he was boasting about. Nothing will trouble Paul because he has Jesus with him.
In that cross of Jesus, Paul experienced tremendous love and forgiveness. Because of this, Paul also found his true self and became a witness of Jesus. This moved Paul to preach the Gospel, and in fact, to preach to others the peace and confidence that he received from Jesus.
Moreover, Jesus sent 72 people in pairs to bring peace to the homes that they will visit. Jesus is aware that homes are in need of peace. Even though that the 72 went ahead of him to prepare the people of his coming, yet, the peace that they were giving to the people was Jesus himself.
This is the promise fulfilled in Jesus as what has been prophesied by Isaiah. Jesus is the peace, the comfort and the confidence that God has promised. This peace brings openness to God’s friendship and healing.
But notice also, Jesus employed the help of his disciples to bring peace to whatever house they enter. This tells us now that preaching and being a witness of Jesus is not just limited to the close group of the 12 apostles. This means that everyone of us is being sent by the Lord to preach and bring peace and healing to wherever we shall go.
Indeed, the promise of peace, confidence and prosperity are not fulfilled outside of us but, through us and within us. The confidence and peace that Paul was telling about was not an outside experience, but rather, Paul himself experienced it personally. It is through his personal encounter with the risen Jesus.
The 72 people were able to bring peace to many homes, not because of an outside influence but coming from their personal relationship with Jesus. The presence of Jesus in their life allowed them to be agents of peace and healing.
This is the invitation for us this Sunday. Jesus calls us and sends us to be part of that fulfillment of the promise of peace and abundance in our families and communities. The Lord, certainly, fulfills his promise through us and with us. Peace is achieved not outside of us. Confidence is attained not apart from us. This tells us again that God’s wonders are made through us.
That is why, God desires that we become part in working wonderful things. This involved in bringing peace and healing to our troubled and wounded homes, relationships and communities. Jesus reminds us too that being part of God’s work, let not material things trouble us. Paul also did the same thing. He did not allow anyone and anything to trouble him and remove him from the peace that he experienced from Jesus.
Let us not allow our complains and anger, hate and bitterness and even our insecurities to steal from us the peace that Jesus has given to us. Let us rather allow the joy of having Jesus in our life to empower us in bringing peace and healing. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR