Jesuit Father Flavien Zolabi presents us with a meditation with the readings of the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time of liturgical year C.
First reading: Is 66,10-14c
Psalm: Ps 65 (66), 1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a, 16.20
Second reading: Gal 6,14-18
Gospel: Lk 10, 1-12. 17-20
Dear brothers and sisters,
The texts that the liturgy offers us today ring in our ears and in our hearts two essential words, two fundamental human desires, which are unfortunately unfulfilled in the life of so many peoples and in our present-day society: joy and peace.
It is already in the first reading, taken from the last chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah, that we encounter this announcement of joy and peace. Indeed, on their return from exile in Babylon, the little people of Israel found themselves discouraged because of the precarious economic and social situation encountered in the land of their fathers. And it is to awaken the hope of these discouraged faithful that the prophet launches this appeal:Rejoice with Jerusalem, rejoice in her, all you who love her…The prophet invites the exiles to let go of their sadness, because like a mother, the Lord will comfort them; prosperity will return, the city will be rebuilt, and “the Lord Himself will direct peace to her like a river“.
The Gospel account tells us of the sending on mission of seventy-two disciples, a symbolic number that undoubtedly represents all peoples. At the time of sending them, Jesus gives them a certain number of instructions and teachings. He asks them first to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest. Yes, the secret of evangelization does not reside primarily in human efforts of foresight and planning, however useful and necessary; but rather in the benevolent assistance of God himself.
The worker-messengers are instruments and servants of the vineyard of God. Hence, we must pray to God. In addition, Jesus invites the missionary disciples to material detachment so that they place all their trust in divine Providence, which also manifests itself through the generosity of men. Also, Jesus warns them of the hostility they will face in their mission: they will be rejected, humiliated, persecuted. And the history of Christianity teaches us that this hostility against the messengers of the good news is still relevant today.
Finally, peace, Shalom, is one of those graces that the Lord Jesus Christ asks his disciples to bring to the peoples to whom they are sent. We know that to live according to the Father’s plan, men need peace among themselves, among peoples, and interior peace in the heart of each individual. Jesus himself, after his resurrection, offered the grace of peace to his fearful and imprisoned disciples.
But peace, this gift of God, may well be welcomed or rejected by the recipients of the Good News. It can also be hindered by the selfish interests of men. This is the sad reality of our current world where many peoples are forced to live in situations of misery, community conflicts, nameless wars, etc. Let us ask the Lord to make of us, each according to his state of life, missionaries of evangelical joy and artisans of peace.
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Meditation for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Being missionaries of joy and peace – Vatican News
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