Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 11, 2021
The 12 that were “specially chosen” by The Lord were given some pretty specific instructions on what to take, how to act, and what to do. Mark does not report, however, what they were supposed to say!
The fact is, they were directed to travel extremely light in terms of material goods and concerns because the message entrusted to their care could not possibly have been “weightier”…The Kingdom of God is at hand!
In our Second Reading, St. Paul offers a glimpse of what this looks like, The Reign of God…in other words, “God’s plan for the fullness of times.” The passage is poetic and powerful, requiring a slow, prayerful, and reflective reading if one is to get any sense of the “mystery of God’s will.”
This plan, which is totally Christ-centered, is that all creation should be redeemed. The plan involves a methodical process through which the harmony and peace God intended at the beginning of time is to be fully restored.
While creation waits for that to happen, God has chosen people in every generation who are entrusted with this Divine Wisdom. Like the 12 in today’s Gospel, the chosen are sent out into the world to “sell the plan.”
We live in times when the work of discipleship is especially “weighty.” We need only compare the headline news…worldwide…with the passage from Ephesians to appreciate how far humanity has taken creation off course. People are simply not investing in God’s Plan. So, those who accept the work must travel light and with a sense of urgency, covering as much territory as possible.
Disciples lean on the Gospel for support. The Good News keeps them steady and centered. It is the most dependable walking stick.
The Eucharist is The Food needed to sustain the work. The Bread of Life is essential to spiritual health and energy. Christ’s Body and Blood are The Source of strength necessary to power the challenging work of proclaiming The Kingdom of God.
Hard labor deserves a good wage, but payment for the work of discipleship, for the most part, is deferred. In the meantime, disciples find great satisfaction and reward in watching how their efforts can bring change in people’s lives and move God’s plan for redemption forward.
There are some very tough customers out there. It is imperative that their resistance not dampen or affect the enthusiasm and commitment of “the chosen.”
The instructions are clear: Shake off any negative experience and move on; don’t carry so much as a speck of negativity with you.
So then, as one of the very privileged “chosen,” you have clear instructions on what to take, how to act, and what to do as you set off on this urgent mission.
So then, just exactly what is it you are supposed to say? Simply this:
Love one another!
Care for one another!
Forgive one another!
Live in peace!
Why is that so hard to sell?