Homily for July 3, 2016 the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in Called, christian, church events, ecclesiology, Faith, homily, inspirational, religion, scripture, Spirit, Word by Fr Joe R on June 29, 2016

14 sun2In today’s gospel, Jesus picks 72 disciples and sends them out to preach. This particular passage only appears in Luke and is interesting in its details. Remember we are talking about the Middle East and pathways or dirt roads were the means of travel. The disciples were to carry no staff, carry no bag and wear no sandals. How difficult it would be to walk, plus there would be no defense without at least a staff, and walking barefoot is certainly not easy. By not greeting anyone, meant a simple gesture and the quickly moving on from anyone they met which gave an air of 14 sun1urgency to their mission. To stay in one place and accept the hospitality given also pointed out the need to get right down to business and spread the Word of God. They were to heal and bless and tell them the Kingdom of God was at hand. If any place rejected them, they were told to shake the dust of that place from their feet, for God would ultimately judge them.

What is interesting, is that none of the 72 (70 in some Greek translations) were Apostles. These laborers he selected were different from his select 12. His word was not meant to be spread by just a few but all his believers and so he selected and empowered those 72 to go out. They returned to Jesus and rejoiced at the result of their labor, of the power they possessed to spread the word, to cast out demons, to be immune from snakes and scorpions. But note, Jesus told them to not rejoice at 14sun5their power but that their names were written in heaven. The lesson of power is one that comes up and is one that was needed even for the Apostles. The real exercise of power for a follower of Jesus is not in using it or lording it over others, but in truly serving others. Real power for the Christian is in assisting another to know and love Jesus and come to believe in him. It is the power of love reaching out one by one embracing as many as we can into the company of Jesus and his community. No staff, no bag, no sandals, Jesus is saying reach out as you are, with your humanity, your understanding, your love. We are all brothers and sisters.


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