7 July – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Christ Our Peace
The peace of Christ which we celebrate today should leave its mark on us so that we become messengers of peace of all around us.
– The Sunday Missal
be glad for her, all you who love her!
Rejoice, rejoice for her,
all you who mourned her!
That you may be suckled, filled,
from her consoling breast,
that you may savour with delight
her glorious breasts.
For thus says the Lord:
Now towards her I send flowing
peace, like a river,
and like a stream in spate
the glory of the nations.
At her breast will her nurslings be carried
and fondled in her lap.
Like a son comforted by his mother
will I comfort you.
And by Jerusalem you will be comforted.
At the sight your heart will rejoice,
and your bones flourish like the grass.
To his servants the Lord will reveal his hand.
The only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.
I want no more trouble from anybody after this; the marks on my body are those of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.
The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road.
‘Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house.
‘Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.” I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.’
The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’
Rejoice because your names are written in heaven
Today’s gospel tells of Jesus’ instructions to the seventy-two that he sends as disciples to preach his word. Some instructions include, “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.’” It speaks of how God guides and protects his chosen ones in their work. He guides them to the households they will enter, and protects them against evil that may be in those households. For the seventy-two returned rejoicing saying “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Since I am no special apostle of Jesus, this text reminds me of how I should live my life, in terms of my interactions with others. I should not choose my friends but love everyone as my brother as much as they would welcome me. I should bless them with my gifts and leave them with peace from Jesus’ kingdom. If there is an opportunity, I would also share with them the good news of God. If a person does not welcome me, then I will leave without bad feelings because it is they who have rejected the goodness of God’s sharing.
Jesus further reminds us that we should not boast in our abilities to cast out devils, or rather in any special talents that He has blessed us with. Instead be humble and “rejoice because your names are written in heaven” – that you have been promised an eternal life by God in Jesus’ name. For what greater blessing can there be than to have a place with God in heaven!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Serene Goh)
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord for being by my side, every day every moment, guiding me in your good ways.
Prayer: I pray that the Spirit of truth will guide me in your ways, so that I may glorify you every day of my life.