July 3, 2022 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070322.cfm)
Is it not that we long for peace and prosperity for our family and for our community? Who would not want and hope for a peaceful home and a comfortable life? I am sure, 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; crimes, disasters and corruption in the community, we want peace. If only we have peace within ourselves, in our homes and communities, then, our life would be very different. Life would surely be harmonious and more productive.
The hope and dream of peace and abundance in life had been already imagine long time ago. In fact, this was prophesied by Isaiah. We have heard it from the first reading how Isaiah had seen the day when Jerusalem will be comforted with peace and prosperity. The people longed for this because of the suffering they went through. The people of Israel agonized so 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 our human suffering. In God’s goodness, peace and prosperity will be upon the suffering people. That is why, the message of Isaiah is to “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 contentment in the life of God’s people.
This is what we also discover in the life of St. Paul in which God’s comfort was revealed to him. Indeed, Paul in his letter to the Galatians 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 the Christian communities at the time of Paul can never destroy the peace that he received from the cross of Jesus. And Paul was boasting about it. 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.
Preaching and bringing peace to others was actually done even earlier. This is what we have heard in the Gospel. Jesus sent 72 people in pairs to bring peace to the many homes that they will visit. Jesus is, certainly, aware that our homes are in need of peace. This was the mission of the 72 people sent ahead, to bring peace and to bring Jesus himself to their homes.
But let us remember, Jesus needed the help of his disciples to bring peace to many homes. This reveals to us now that preaching and being a witness of Jesus is not just limited to the closed group of the 12 apostles. This means that everyone of us is being sent by the Lord to preach, to bring peace and to bring healing wherever we are.
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 it was coming from their personal relationship with Jesus. The presence of Jesus in their life allowed them to become agents of peace and healing.
This is where we now find the invitations for us this Sunday.
First, 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 and with us.
Indeed, God desires that we become part in making and working wonderful things in this world. This involves bringing peace and healing to our troubled and wounded homes, relationships and communities.
Second, Jesus reminds us too that by being part of God’s work, let not material things and our other insecurities trouble us, limit us and hinder 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 with one another 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. Kabay pa.