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03/07/2016 - 14th Sunday Ordinary Time - C

03/07/2016 - 14th Sunday Ordinary Time - C

1 reading: Isaiah 66,10-14 * from Psalm 65* 2 reading Gal 6,14-18 *Gospel Lk 10,1-12.17-20

Last Sunday we have put our attention on the way we have to follow Jesus. Today we shall see that the Lord turns to those who follow him, and send them before him. Those who follow him are not destined to enjoy his presence and remain all the time doing nothing, because he sends them to prepare the land for him, to prepare the people to accept him. Those who are sent by Jesus must live continuously for him, thinking about him, remaining for his service or better, for the service of the people to be ready to accept the Lord who is their saviour. “He sent them to by two before him in every town and place where he was to stay”: with these words, the evangelist Luke helps us to note that the disciples sent must remain always oriented to Jesus, the only center of their own life. It is he who is the scope of their behavior as Christians: are you sent to instruct the children and adults, to cure the sick, to help alleviate the solitude of the old, to alleviate the suffering of the depressed, to give help to strangers, to visit the sick? However, all this must be accomplished to prepare the arrival of Jesus in their hearts. It is him infact who can alleviate truly, as he said: “Come to me you who are oppressed and tired, and I will give you rest”. Who accepts Jesus will have life, and will have it in abundance.

It is another surprise in the words of Jesus: those who prepare the hearts of the brothers to meet Jesus must do this with two attitudes: The first is humility: they must keep in mind their proper incapacity. Their own work will always be insufficient because they are few. The second attitude is prayer: their own heart will be turned to the Father, the only one who can give new help, the only one who can open the hearts of those who receive our own help. Two other important points need to be underlined to the one who is send and who obeys Jesus. he must not not pretend that he is someone or something, but he must be like a lamb, even if around him there are wolves lo frighten him and eat him. So he must never stop carrying his cross. This will always be renewed, because by carrying the cross of persecution, he will be a credible testimony of Jesus. The other attention will bring him to the point where he will never move his own desires from the person of Jesus to things, even if they are good and useful. Sack or sandals must never occupy the heart and the thought, must not take the energy is of of his commitment to announce the Word and to be Jesus known. We might find strange the indication of Jesus: “do not stop to greet anyone on the road”. For Jesus it is important that his disciples do not lose time in futile talks, or in gossiping, in curiosity or stupidity, which often are the contents of the greetings which go beyond the necessary gift of a word or a smile which communicated the love of the Father.

Those who obey Jesus e go to cities and villages must be ready to be accepted by poor people and those who are simple, or also to be refused. This is nothing new: the eventual hospitality was also given to Jesus. They must continue their own service without being conditioned. They will have to continue announcing the Reign of God and to invite to come to know and love Jesus! They should go “two-by-two” in a way that they will have the occasion to always love each other even to the point of taking each other’s burden. In this way they will make it known how the new commandment that they announce must be lived. Their own attention then will be revolved to those persons who are fragile and weak, like the sick. They should not have pretenses for themselves and should be happy with what is given to them for living. Their own words will be finalized to the Kingdom of God, that is to the coming of the King who the Father sends to unite all men: they should remind everyone that Jesus will come in their own lives and in the lives of those who ask for. It is he who the people have to wait for in order to be helped and alieved. When the 72 returned enthused with the result of their own work, Jesus corrects their own motive of joy. The true joy of the disciple and the apostle is not the result of their own mission but the fact that he feels loved even when he is refused and when it brings fruit. The heart of the disciple is made to give joy to his Father. The prophet Isaiah invites us to this joy: the joy of enjoying the love of God as the son enjoys the consolation of his mother. And Saint Paul gives us an example of this: he boasts “of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”. It is this cross which succeeds in separating us from the work and to unite us with him. It is with the cross that the disciples prepared the road to Jesus remaining united with him.