Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalms 66:1–3, 4–5, 6–7, 16, 20
Luke 10:1–12, 17-20
Reflection Question: When Jesus sent out “the 72”, he instructed them that they were being sent out like “lambs among wolves.” In today’s world, how might we best recognize the “wolves” around us, and have the courage to share the Good News with others when the Gospel message is rejected?
It should not come to us as a surprise that there are many we encounter on a daily basis who do not accept the message of Christ into their lives, and even those who completely deny the very existence of God.
In living out our baptismal call to go out and evangelize, we need to grow to recognize that sometimes the best form of CONVEYING the Gospel is LIVING the Gospel.
Saint Francis of Assisi made the statement that we need to preach always, and when necessary, we might need to use words. That insight is powerful to say the least. People who are open to hear the Good News of Jesus will be able to see in our actions, the love of Christ shine.
When we encounter those who might be opposition to the ideals, teachings, values, or practicalities of faith given to us by Jesus, our goal should be to live those concepts to the fullest and thus make the “wolves” wonder and even be confused.
Many today simply cannot grasp the goodness that people show, the kindness they extend, or the generosity that they share. There are those who are completely baffled that followers of Jesus care about brothers and sisters whom we have never met or reach out to those whom society rejects.
As Jesus instructed, when confronted by negativity, we should not “bang our heads against the wall” in frustration, rather simply move forward with joy and hope and continue to let the light of Christ permeate our words and actions to the next folks we encounter.
The Gospel for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) is one that we could and should ponder in our prayer. It is a message that is challenging and hope-filled. It is a teaching that has many merits if we trust and follow what Jesus has prescribed.
When “wolves” confront us, let us be comforted in knowing that they have been around for 2,000 years and that they will continue to prowl in our midst. If we can joyfully accept that challenging reality, then we can boldly progress in sharing the Gospel and rejoicing in the truth that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is always at our side “with His rod and His staff to give us courage.” Have a blessed week!
By: Father William J. Lechnar, Pastor / Saint Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Kittanning / Saint Mary, Mother of God Parish, Yatesboro