14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the Gospel, we see Jesus sending out his seventy-two disciples on a mission. They are to be bearers of peace, healing and telling the Good News of GO’s salvation.
We too, as followers of Jesus, have the same mission.
We are invited to bring peace, forgiveness and reconciliation to others.
Note, the first words on entering a house by the seventy-two were: ‘Peace to this house’. They were to be ambassadors of peace and good will to all. Peace is a positive thing. It indicates openness, friendship, tolerance, good will, hospitality and reconciliation. It helps us to reach out to others. It helps us to break down barriers of fear, suspicion, bigotry and prejudice.
How many times do we pray for peace in Mass? Just before Communion, the priest says, “The peace of the Lord be with you always” – and so we have the opportunity to greet one another with a bow, and earnestly pray for that Peace of Christ among us. And that is not all! At the end of Mass we are to take that same peace to others – “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord” – or some similar invitation!
So back to the seventy-two disciples: they were all close followers of Jesus. They had listened to his words of departure. They could well have been men, women or teenagers. Who were the disciple to bravely remained with Jesus at Calvary and in the upper room? There were many women among his followers, otherwise they wouldn’t have been there when some had abandoned him.
All of us are invited to be part of that band of 72. We may not feel ready or able. Yet, Jesus puts his trust in us, as he did in his first disciples. He was aware that there would be difficulties and opposition to his message. We must never loose heart, because the power of the Holy Spirit is ours and the presence of Jesus is there ‘where two or three are gathered in his name’.
This presence of God is indicated in our first reading. It is written after the people return from the Babylonian exile and points a glowing picture of God looking after his people, just as a mother nourishes her child.
That’s all for now, Fr. Joe