Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 07.07.2019
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so, ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the labourer deserves his payment. 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.’” Lk 10:1-9
Motto: “… but if not, it will return to you.” – Jesus’ briefing for the road covered all situations in which the disciples could possibly find themselves while they were proclaiming the good news. He tells them exactly what to do and what not to do. Surprisingly, he also mentions the recipients and their role in this process. The apostles are not miracle working salesmen, who cleverly entice their potential buyers. They rather represent the principle of cooperation, particularly since they give up even those means which would be acceptable in the eyes of a community. For the reception or rejection of the message those are equally responsible, who are addressed. They have the choice to cooperate or to resist. This is their responsibility. Those who proclaim the faith do not take this on! This is also a lesson for us today! How many times have I heard: “I am not going to church because the priests don’t preach properly.” Unfortunately, this criticism is true sometimes, but it does not free the audience form their duty to actively cooperate. If for example somebody prepares with the help of the daily gospel readings, the seemingly boring homily can become a source of faith. We must not forget that even the weakest sermon quotes from the scriptures. Every letter of the scriptures has its origin in God and therefore the scriptures are full of things to discover. Consequently, the “business” depends on two parties. The seller and the buyer bring about the message together, in communication. The one who carries the message also brings grace and blessing which will rest on those who accept it. Together with that he brings peace to the soul, which also requires acceptance and will not get lost.
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