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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Homily

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Isaiah 66:10-14c
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20 (1)
Galatians 6:14-18
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
July 3, 2022

We are called to be a missionary church. This means we are to share the gospel and God’s mercy with others.

Today we hear of Jesus sending out 72 others. He had previously sent out the Twelve Apostles on a mission. Today, the bishops are the successors to the Apostles but just as the Twelve were not the only ones called by Jesus, neither are the bishops. We are all called to share in the mission, each according to our gifts and our state in life, whether ordained, single, or married.

Sometimes people say they don’t know enough to talk about Jesus. You don’t have to know everything. It is worth noting that when Jesus sent out the 72, it says He sent them “ahead.” “Ahead” signifies that He will follow. We don’t have to do it alone.

He also sent them out in pairs. They went in pairs to bear witness together on what Jesus had taught.

When missionaries go out today, we should see ourselves as partners with them. Not everyone is called to be a missionary in going to other lands but we can support them.

Jesus says, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” Our master of the harvest is God. We ask him in prayer to send out laborers. This should not be a one-time prayer. We should always offer prayers of support for the missions.

When He sent out the 72 (like the Twelve), Jesus told them, “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals.” They were not to worry about money. They were to trust that God would provide.

How does God provide for the missions today?

Through us. God invites us, each according to our means, to support the ministries of the missions and charities.

It is the practice in our diocese (each diocese may do it differently), that each summer missionaries are invited to come to our parishes and seek support in prayer and financially for their group. This weekend we welcome Sr. Ifeoma of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary (www.mshr.org) to hear about their work and offer our support.

The world we live in is becoming less and less open to the faith. We can become discouraged. Here, I think of the Israelites, who at the time of our first reading, were returning home from Exile in Babylon. God calls them to “rejoice” but it is difficult because they find Jerusalem in ruins.

God assured them that He would “spread prosperity over Jerusalem.” The Lord continues, “as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” God is there for us. We can trust in him.

When we do good, it is because God has given us the gifts to do it. What can we boast of? That our Lord Jesus Christ loves us so much that He willingly gave his life for us on the Cross. Knowing us gives us faith hope and from that hope we have faith to do our part to share God’s mercy.

In faith, we echo Paul’s words, “for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.” Jesus suffered for us. We accept our sufferings trusting in Jesus, bearing witness to his love.

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