7 July 2019 – 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time
all you who mourned her!
her glorious breasts.
the glory of the nations.
And by Jerusalem you will be comforted.
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.
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.’
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 must admit that I have been struggling with the concept of detachment for a very long time. It’s the idea that you have to immerse yourself fully in love, dedicate your whole self to the cause God is calling you to, but then at the same time, be ready to give it all up to God when He asks you to. Indeed, our Faith is a paradox!
In the book Mary of Nazareth, the author shared that Mother Mary had to learn to live in Egypt but also have a spirit of detachment – that is, she should be ready to leave should God ask her to. I could only imagine how it would feel trying to make friends with your neighbours, building a house, looking for playmates for Jesus, and all the while, knowing in her heart that they would be leaving the place. Would it have been agonizing?
By nature, we know that we work well when things are certain; that’s why we recognize individuals who are able to operate well in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. Borrowing from the corporate strategies, individuals who are able to function well in this VUCA world are those who do not need 100% certainty in everything – they study what they know, and then they make the best decision possible. After making the decision, they no longer agonize whether they made a mistake initially, they let the results confirm their decision. So what happens if the decision proves wrong? The best VUCA decision-makers I’ve seen seem to display a spirit of detachment. They are comfortable having made the decision knowing that it was the best decision one could do at that point in time. To them, deciding was better than not moving.
There are times that I feel that God gives us a VUCA situation, but there is a difference. God provides certainty. This certainty is that everything that will happen will eventually be for the good. God allows things to happen so that a greater good can come about. Remember? ‘Oh happy fault! O necessary sin of Adam.’ It’s a lot easier to write this than to really live it out.
Perhaps, for us, in this ‘VUCA’ life God is calling us, He just asks us to live well, to follow Him, to love Him. This would be our best decision. And then whatever happens, let our hearts not be troubled. There should be no dust in on our feet, nor in our hearts.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dearest Lord God, detachment may be difficult, so give us the grace to trust you and to trust in your good plans for us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for allowing things we do not like in order to bring about greater good.