Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 3rd July 2016

Will You Make a Difference?

Today’s Gospel marks the sending out of the 72 disciples to prepare the way for Jesus. He is aware of the difficulties and the welcome (or lack of welcome) that they will meet  and warns them that He is sending them out like “lambs among wolves”.

He does not send them out alone - but with a companion to share the journey with all its joys and sorrows.

His instructions are straightforward - but tough - no money - no haversack - no security. They are to lodge where they can and accept whatever hospitality they find as wages for the work they are doing for the Kingdom. Their mission is to proclaim the Kingdom - curing those who are sick.

Two things are striking in the story; one is the simple urgency of the task  of proclaiming the message. Some will accept it, others will not but their rejection of the message should not be on account of any failing on the part of the messengers.

The other striking feature is their success. They rejoice on their return because they know that they are participating in the ultimate struggle  of good over evil. In sharing their joy, however, Jesus reminds them that it is not about them but about God  working through them and that this should be the source of their joy. “Do not rejoice  that  the  spirits  submit to you, rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven”.

We are each called by the Lord at baptism and confirmation to be His apostles today, so to speak. We  cannot say we are not suitable. It is God who calls us to make a difference to the world, God wants to use us in his plan for the salvation of the world. Paul wrote in our second reading, “I  am the least of the apostles ... I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am and the grace he has given me will not be fruitless.”

Will we allow God to use us in his plan for the salvation of the world? Will we make a difference? We say, we aren’t ready, but the thing is … Jesus doesn’t call the ready, Jesus calls the willing. Confidently and with humility, let us answer the call.  

Fr  Kevin O'Shea, C.M.