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.’
…even the devils submit to us when we use your name.
Have you ever wondered why we always conclude our prayer to God with the words “through Christ our Lord”? There is no other way of Christian prayer than Christ. Whether our prayer is communal or personal, vocal or interior, it has access to the Father only if we pray “in the name” of Jesus. The sacred humanity of Jesus is therefore the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father – CCC 2664. The name “Jesus” contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray “Jesus” is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies – CCC 2666.
The apostles in today’s gospel reading were able to bravely take steps into the unknown as they had placed their confidence in the Lord’s name. It was probably a new experience to them to experience the Lord’s power in such a manner, and so they returned rejoicing, likely with a renewed faith in God.
How readily do we act and speak in God’s name? I do not mean that we tag “in Jesus’ name” in whatever we say or do, but how often do we go about our daily lives with the confidence that God is with us? If I ask myself that question, I would say that most of the time I am just hoping that things turn out well according to my own plans and abilities, and freaking out if they do not. During those few times where I managed to let go and place my complete faith in God, I must say that God has always ensured that things turn out well. It takes a strong relationship with God, and a good understanding of how He works in one’s life, to be able to tackle challenges and difficulties with grace. I recommend, for starters, the praying of the examen. A useful app called “Examen Prayer” is available on iTunes and Google Playstore.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Edith Koh)
Prayer: We pray for a greater faith and humility to let go of the things we cling on to.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the many opportunities to glorify God’s name.