Jul 3, 2016

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 10: 1-12

The Gospel today reflects the public dimension of discipleship within the mission of the Church. In the same way as Christ appointed twelve apostles for a particular mission, we also see the Lord in the Gospel today, assigning particular public duties and responsibilities to a certain seventy two “others”.  What we see reflected in the New Testament Scriptures, is the Church becoming organized, visible and structured, reflecting a recognizable order, not for the sake of efficiency like a global corporation, but "in order" to bring to humanity to the Good News of Jesus Christ. And we accomplish this, not as independent practitioners or specialist experts or professionals. Rather, as brothers and sisters of a unique family bond together by a common blood - that of Christ's which must always flow through our veins. (It is no accident that July is dedicated to Christ's Precious Blood).

Granted, family members do not always get on with each other, and at times our relationships can sometimes be strained, even distant, for various reasons, not excluding our our own sins and faults. That is why it is often necessary to step back and appreciate the grace that is always present within the family we call the Church.

Because "blood is thicker than water", the Church, from God’s perspective is a “divine spiritual reality which can only be seen with the eyes of faith.” (Comp.CCC 151) It is with these eyes of faith that allow the sacraments of the Church to be seen clearly as expressions of Christ’s invisible life, which despite our own shortcomings, is present in and fuel the mission our Lord entrusted to the Church.

Therefore as family members of the Church, Christ has given each one of us a unique role and responsibility in and for the salvation of the world. Today’s Gospel reminds us that a disciple cannot be camouflaged, nor a secret agent! We are called by Christ to be light of the world and salt of the earth! Yet the harvest is always indeed rich and the laborers are always few. (Comp. CCC 172-173)

This is not academic theological talk! When you love someone, when you find meaning in your life because of a family you have bonded to, you are never silent in good times, as well as bad times.  Christ never intended his Good News to be a cryptic code to be unlocked by a team of trained specialists, nor his Good News confined to an hour on Sunday and kept separate from the world, discreetly swept under the carpet or avoided in polite conversation.  Christ's Good News, like salt in right measure - it seasons and flavors our everyday conversations, our attitudes and our daily work.

For a number of years, a group of 12 parishioners (our brothers and sisters) have been systematically visiting the local homes and neighborhoods within our parish. They have knocked on the doors of over 9,000 homes asking if there are any baptized Catholics in the household. Maybe not surprisingly, there are hundreds of non-practicing Catholics in our neighborhoods. For the majority, the visit we made to them was the first invitation they ever received to “come home” – the assurance that they are still part of the family. Too often, our own failure has been our silence.

We all organize our lives, socially and privately, around that which we know to be our ultimate priorities in life. For the Christian, our own ultimate priority is to live and lead our lives in a way that will make visible the Kingdom of God "on earth as it is in heaven". Let us never be afraid to invite into our home, in whatever shape its takes, our distant family members, especially those who are hungry and thirst for Christ's Good News. After all, he suffered and died on the cross, not just for me and my salvation and but for every single person of the world - the whole family of humanity. (cf. Comp. CCC 177).  As we responded to the todays Psalm "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy!" (Psalm 66)

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