OMELIE / Omelie EN

07 lug 2019
07/07/2019 – 14th Sunday in O. T. - C 

07/07/2019 – 14th Sunday in O. T. - C 

Reading 1 IS 66,10-14 * Psalm 66 * Reading 2 GAL 6,14-18 * Gospel LK 10,1-12.17-20


The first reading prepares our heart for the announcement given by the gospel. Rejoice… exult, exult! What is the news we are going to receive? The prophet Isaiah announces fullness of love, fullness of life. The love as great as that of a mother is not going to be lost for us, a love that fills life with a sense of satisfaction and complete fulfilment! God comes to take care of us, He Himself wants to meet us: “When you see this, your heart shall rejoice”! The same joy is shown by the psalm too. God's works make us jump for joy, because He “refused me not my prayer or his kindness”.

The joyful news is the gospel! At last, the disciples leave in couples in order to announce Jesus to the world: they need to go before Him. He will follow, He will make Himself present wherever His own will end up, with His Word. The first word they are asked to spread is “Peace to this household”! This word is summarising their whole announcement, their entire preaching. And these not only are words, but a presence, an invitation, a gift. They are a presence: the very presence of Jesus, loved by His own, listened to by them, living in their heart. They are an invitation: invitation to wait for Him, to recognise Him, to welcome Him, to listen to Him, to spend time with Him, to enjoy Him, who let us meet the Father. They are a gift: a gift made of light, a new reason for living and making efforts, a new reason for suffering or understanding suffering, a gift from a friend and a brother that comes without asking.

In order to announce this not only the Twelve are sent, but the seventy-two disciples, so every Christian! This number reminds us Moses' helpers during the travelling of the people in the desert; it is the number that is telling us about the total of those who follow Jesus. He wants to make us understand that all of us are involved, or even better, that all of us need to cooperate, because His desire of salvation for everyone becomes our own desire. He “sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit”. Jesus sends His own first. They are setting the tone. Their preaching will not be enough: He Himself will have to come to give life and joy, love and peace. But He will get where the hearts are ready. This is what John the Baptist was doing already, who had called the people to wait, to wait while busying itself, with a desire to become clean, not on the outside, but on the inside of the heart. So the disciples of the Lord prepare His arrival by announcing His coming, helping the men’s heart to wait for Him by preparing themselves repented, open to follow His teachings that are wiser than our habits and our reasoning.

In order for the disciples' announcement to be welcomed as truthful, they need to show themselves as free from everything, detached from things and desires. They will not have to look for anything for themselves, or be worried for their life. They will then experience the presence of a loving Father that assists them. They will live with their heart focused only on Jesus, and in this way they will offer an announcement truly selfless, that can be believed. Their heart and their eyes will be turned upwards, because their trust will be only in God: in fact, they cannot expect anything but suffering from men. Jesus says this using an explicit image: “I am sending you like lambs among wolves”. What can happen to lambs that find themselves among wolves?

Saint Paul experienced this: he knows that Jesus' disciples are like lambs among wolves: he does not complain about this, on the contrary, he brags about it, he brags about how much he himself had to suffer for the Lord. His sufferings, due to the faith in Jesus, are his pride: they make him take part in Christ's glorious cross.

Jesus' disciples will not expect to be welcomed right away by everyone, they will not become sad if someone will make fun of them, or worse, will cheat them. If they are not welcomed they will not curse those who do not welcome them: they will give them a word of advice and they will leave them with one last joyful announcement: “The kingdom of God is at hand for you”! You will never know, someone might change perspective!

Jesus however, first of all, gives the disciples another fundamental job: they need to pray, they need to understand that the fruit of their efforts and their obedience is in God's hands. They need to pray for the other workers busy harvesting, and not to trust themselves, their own beautiful words or their charming presence. Prayer is their very first task, the first cooperation in the Kingdom of God! Men will come to Jesus in order to enjoy His life and His peace if the way is prepped with many prayers!