14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 7, 2019
Jul 26, 2019
Five years ago, I was invited by a friend to join in a mission journey to Panama. Visiting the remote villages in the mountains and helping to build houses and a chapel were the goals of the mission as support for the activity of evangelization. Surprisingly, our minds were loaded with questions about what to bring there for our own convenience: clothing, food, candy, medications and you name it… While we were excited to undertake the journey, it was our assurance and safety that took us more time and energy to prepare for than the word of God we took for granted in our life and we have to bring to people. Unfortunately, I fell sick and was unable to indeed go.
When the time to undo my luggage came, I was ashamed by the amount of clothing, food, and self-care things I loaded my suitcase with. I laughed at myself and I said, maybe it is because of all this that God prevented me from going. I did not trust in Him as the one to take care of me. I did not understand the requirements of discipleship either; nor did I follow the direction the Lord was giving me as he did for the disciples.
Today’s gospel reading takes us up to the journey of faith. The disciples are faced with the situation that requires them to accept in faith the requirements of following Jesus. Last week, Jesus Christ showed us how much difficult it is to follow him. Today we are called to experience these exigencies: trusting only in the Lord and His words of promise to us.
Let us imagine the anxiety of the disciples when they are told to take nothing for the journey. Today it is the experience of the faith of Abraham that is given us: to go to uncertain and unknown destination to preach the gospel without concerns about what pertains to our own safety and assurances. Like the disciples, we seem sometimes confused and at loss when we are called to fulfill the mission of discipleship. We wonder: how are going to do this or that?
The surprising reaction of the disciples at the end of the mission is what should catch our mind the most. St. Luke tells us that they were rejoicing for the so many wonders God has done to people through them. There is in them a passage from uncertainty to certainty and trust in the Lord who is the Master of the mission. They rejoice because they have been found worthy of participating in the great mission of salvation and God has used them, although broken and fearful, weak and sinners, as instrument for the kingdom. Through them the Lord demonstrates that the kingdom is truly at hand. It takes our availability to make it present. We all are sent today. We are asked to leave behind our own concerns and give primacy to the commissioning words of the Lord. We are called to transition from the confusion of our mind to the certainty that comes from faith and that will allow us to bear fruits for the kingdom.
And let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family as we undertake this journey of discipleship in faith and trust in the Lord.