Saturday, July 15, 2006
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 16 2006
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B
Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos, "Off with you, visionary, flee
to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never
again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king's sanctuary and a royal
temple." Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged
to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy
to my people Israel."
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose
us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without
blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself
through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the
praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In
him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all
wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in
accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the
fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on
earth. In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose
of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of
his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who
first hoped in Christ. In him you also, who have heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were
sealed with the promised holy Spirit, which is the first installment of
our inheritance toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and
gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take
nothing for the journey but a walking stick- no food, no sack, no money
in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second
tunic. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until
you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave
there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them." So
they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many
demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
A Jesuit missionary labored for many years in a Bukidnon mission in
Mindanao. When the mission parish was finally turned over to the
diocesan clergy, the new parish priest was amazed that the Jesuit
missionary had left him practically a bare convent without any
furniture, not even a bed. What the new parish priest did not realize
was that the old missionary had lived in the bare convent all his years
in the mission without any furniture. He had nothing to leave behind.
This story calls to mind the words of Jesus in today's Gospel reading
as he sent the Twelve on their mission, "Take nothing on the journey
but a walking stick ... no food, no traveling bag, not a coin in the
purses in their belts. Do not bring a second tunic."
What was the point of Jesus in giving these instructions? He told the
Apostles not to carry any provisions of food or money in their purse,
not even to bring a change of clothes. Jesus' point was that the
Apostles are to travel light to be able to reach far and wide, to reach
more people. The focus is the mission, not the comfort or popularity,
or the success of the messenger.
We must learn to travel light in our life's journey and to be ready to
endure discomfort to be able to reach far and wide for the sake of
bringing God's Good News. We must learn to trust in God's providence
and the people's hospitality.
When Jesus said, "Whatever house you find yourself in, stay there until
you leave the locality." He was saying whatever hospitality you find,
settle there, and do not be looking for more comfort or better
accommodations. Our concern is not how to ensure our own comfort, but
to preach the Kingdom of God.
What does this have to do with us? You and I are called to be apostles,
to spread the message of Christ by word, action, and style of life. Do
not say that these instructions are meant for priests and religious -
the "professional" evangelizers. All of us, by our baptism, are called
to bring the message of Christ to the world around us. We can do better
if we are not weighed down with a lot of unimportant things that take
our time, our attention, and our money.
Some gadgets like cell phones contribute to our comfort and
convenience. They help us do our work more efficiently and quickly.
However, if we are not careful they can enslave us. It is now a common
sight to see people standing on a street corner or bus stop, or
sidewalk holding a cell phone to their ears and chatting away. They
cannot live without a cell phone. Even at Mass or at stage plays or
concerts, we often hear cell phones ringing disturbing people and
interfering with what is going on, as if that is the most urgent thing
in life - a matter of life and death.
Does this mean we have to live like Mahatma Gandhi, or St. Francis of
Assisi, or live like the poorest beggar? Not at all. But the spirit of
Christ is that we free ourselves of the superfluous, the unnecessary,
the piles of "extra things" that weigh us down physically and
Of course, doing without things must be relative. A carpenter for
instance needs tools, a physician needs expensive clinical equipment, a
housewife needs kitchen utensils, a lawyer - shelves of reference
books. But all of us, some more than others, can find many material
possessions we can do without, things that keep us from thinking,
speaking, and acting freely. We cannot follow the will of God, if we
are tied down by many attachments.
We are on a journey to heaven. The less "baggage" we carry the more we
can concentrate on essentials, the more time we can give to the
spiritual. Let us travel like Jesus and his original followers.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the continued recovery of Aida.
- for the speedy recovery of Cadio.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Jesus Masanque. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he
and all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the speedy recovery of Mariya Ryza Tigno.
- for the speedy recovery of Chiqui Lara.
- for the continued recovery of Tito Cale.
- for the personal intentions of PM.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Neo Catechumenal Communities
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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