14th Week in the Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Hos 11:1-4, 8c-9
Thus, says the LORD: When Israel was a child, I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me, sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer. My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.
Gospel: Mt 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
MESSENGERS OF GOD’S LOVE AND PEACE: God’s love is eternal and he continues to manifest his love and care in spite of our shortcomings and failures. The first reading reminds us that it is not due to our merit he loves us but because his love is everlasting. In the Gospel we see Jesus instructing the disciples to preach the good news. This is in continuation to what we have seen before when he called the 12. They have received the abundance of grace from God and this is to be shared freely with everyone announcing Kingdom of God. Every Christian is called to be messengers of God’s good news and if this is understood well, then we try to live a pleasing life and acceptable to him. May God enable each one of us to be his messengers in tour daily life.
Prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of your love and peace.
MESSENGERS OF GOD’S PEACE AND LOVE: Hosea expresses God’s tender love for Israel. In the imagery of parents carrying their children and teaching them how to walk, the prophet expresses God’s tenderness to his people. The response of the Israelites however, is that of children who turn away from their parents ignoring this love. Israel goes after other gods leaving Yahweh in intense pain. He even desires to punish them. Nevertheless, in His compassion, he decides not to let the flames of his anger consume His people. The Kingdom of God is a pure gift to us and is to be freely passed on to others. In order to do so, the disciples are to travel light and depend on the hospitality of their hosts. They are messengers of God’s peace. The Church is blessed with hundreds and thousands of missionaries who set off to destinations of poverty and misery to bring the message of peace to the dejected. Even when persecuted and rejected they in return give peace and love. Their life itself confirms the validity of the message they proclaim. May we join hands in support of the missionaries and witness to the gospel values.
GOD SENT ME HERE AHEAD OF YOU: At different points in our lives we have hurt others and have ourselves been hurt. Today, looking back at the hurt in comparison to where we are, can we say like Joseph? It was for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you. More than liberating the offender, the one who forgives, liberates himself from captivity. This way the blessing of God upon an individual can be useful to others just like it is for Joseph. When God sends his people, they carry a blessing and where they are received they bless the house. Just like when Joseph was received in the prime minister’s house and the house was blessed. Let us rid ourselves of bitterness so that we can use the blessing that God has deposited in us.