Sunday Church at Home, 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3rd July, 2022

Sunday Church at Home

The Disciples Are Sent To Announce Peace!   

The lay leader makes the sign of the cross, saying:

Leader:          In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All reply:       Amen

Leader:          Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

All reply:       Blessed be God for ever

Leader:          The gospel begins by recalling the need for people who will announce the word of God. It goes on to show how they should carry out their mission. They are reminded not to be discouraged, that the victory of the Kingdom of God is assured.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14c

Introduction to the reading:

The last part of the book of Isaiah contains the words of a prophet who lived after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon. In today’s reading (which is a poem), the prophet sees a bright future for Jerusalem, and uses the image of God as a mother.

A reading from the Book of Isaiah.

“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, 
all you who love her; 
rejoice with her in joy, 
all you who mourn over her; 
that you may suck and be satisfied 
with her consoling breasts; 
that you may drink deeply with delight 
from the abundance of her glory.”

For thus says the Lord: 
“Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, 
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; 
and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, 
and fondled upon her knees. 
As one whom his mother comforts, 
so I will comfort you; 
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 
You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; 
your bones shall flourish like the grass, 
and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord 
is with his servants.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66:1-3a.4-5.6-7a.16 & 20 (R. 1)

Let us now pray the Responsorial Psalm:

R/. Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth;
O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome your deeds!

Before you all the earth shall bow down,
shall sing to you, sing to your name!”
Come and see the works of God:
awesome his deeds among the children of men.

He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
Let our joy, then, be in him;
he rules forever by his might.

Come and hear, all who fear God;
I will tell what he did for my soul.
Blest be God, who did not reject my prayer,
nor withhold from me his merciful love.

R/. Cry out with joy to God, all the earth.

Second Reading: Galatians 6:14-18

Introduction to the reading: In Galatia, a group of Christians attacked Paul’s credentials as an apostle and accused him of false teaching because he said people can be saved without abiding by the Jewish law. In this passage from the end of his letter to the Galatians, Paul defends his right to teach, and stresses that faith in the law has been replaced by faith in Jesus.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians.

Brothers and sisters: 

Far be it from me to glory 
except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
by which the world has been crucified to me, 
and I to the world. 
For neither circumcision counts for anything, 
nor uncircumcision, 
but a new creation. 
Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, 
upon the Israel of God.

Henceforth let no one trouble me; 
for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 
be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

The word of the Lord.

Alleluia, Alleluia.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
Alleluia.


Gospel: Luke 10:1-12.17-20

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

At that time: 
The Lord appointed seventy others 
and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, 
into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 
And he said to them, 
“The harvest is plentiful, 
but the labourers are few; 
pray therefore the Lord of the harvest 
to send out labourers into his harvest. 
Go your way; 
behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 
Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; 
and salute no one on the road. 
Whatever house you enter, first say, 
‘Peace be to this house!’ 
And if a son of peace is there, 
your peace shall rest upon him; 
but if not, it shall return to you. 
And remain in the same house, 
eating and drinking what they provide, 
for the labourer deserves his wages; 
do not go from house to house. 
Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, 
eat what is set before you; 
heal the sick in it and say to them, 
‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 
But whenever you enter a town 
and they do not receive you, 
go into its streets and say, 
‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, 
we wipe off against you;
nevertheless know this, 
that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 
I tell you, 
it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom 
than for that town. 
The seventy returned with joy, saying, 
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 

And he said to them, 
“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 
Behold, I have given you authority 
to tread upon serpents and scorpions, 
and over all the power of the enemy, 
and nothing shall hurt you. 
Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, 
that the spirits are subject to you; 
but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord. 

Reflection on the Readings 

The leader reads the text prepared by the priest and leads the sharing.

There once was a queen who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture on peace. Many artists tried. The queen looked at all the pictures. But there were only two she really liked, and she had to choose between them.   One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.  

The other picture too had mountains. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. 

But when the queen looked closely, she saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace. 

  • Which picture would you choose?
  • Which picture do you think won the prize? — 
  • The queen chose the second picture. 
  • Do you know why?  
  • “Because” explained the queen, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be in calm in your heart. This is the real meaning of peace.” 
  • The Gospel today tells us about the mission of the seventy disciples who are called to be peace-bearers and peace givers.

Last week we heard how Jesus set his face for Jerusalem.

  • Jesus was going up to Jerusalem and there would experience his Passion and death on the Cross.
  • Jesus is now on the road to Jerusalem. 
  • Now we hear him sending disciples out to each town that he intends to visit. 
  • And he gives his famous instructions about them shaking the dust from their feet 
    • But whenever you enter a town 
      and they do not receive you, 
      go into its streets and say, 
      ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, 
      we wipe off against you;
      nevertheless know this, 
      that the kingdom of God has come near.

Today we too are sent out to spread news of the kingdom, just like the disciples. 

  • We want to do it not a duty imposed by guilt  – I might go to hell if I don’t do it.
    • We want to spread the news of the kingdom not because a person in authority has issued a command and we have to obey orders.
    • We want to spread the news of the kingdom out of gratitude for the great goodness of God to each of us and all of us.
    • Especially in this time of world and individual troubles we want to share with people the Peace of God.

Last week Jesus was recruiting followers, in tough language.

  • Remember the phrase:
    • Let the dead bury their dead!”.
  • Now Jesus is giving army-like instructions as to how the seventy disciples are to act when they go journeying to the towns.
  • He tells them;
    • The must first pray
    • They must carry no purse, no bag, no sandals.
    • They must salute no one on the road.
    • They must offer peace to whatever house they enter and remain in the same house.
    •  

It is good to start with prayer because what lies ahead for the disciples has strong hints of danger and rejection.

  • they will be like “lambs among wolves” and they will not always be well received. 
  • The road ahead will be rough going, and the disciples will not be able to rely on their own resources or ingenuity. 
  • That’s why Jesus gives these tough instructions to his disciples. 
  • Having gone through security check points that require a driver’s license to get into a townhouse complex, and the need for cash or a credit card to get through  tollgates and such like that – it means that we know that we can’t interpret Jesus’ instructions literally. 
  • Certainly NOT in the twenty first century!

We can ask – what did Jesus mean when he said:

  • “I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom 
    than for that town.”
  • Why does he refer to Sodom at this moment? 
  • To understand what Jesus meant, we need to refer back to the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18:16 – 19:29.
  • In this mythological story, God has decided to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • It is unclear from this brief passage in Genesis why God decided to do this. 
  • So we look to other references in the Old Testament.
  • The clearest reference is Ezekiel 16:49-50
    • ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.’
  • Jesus says:
    • But whenever you enter a town 
      and they do not receive you, 
      go into its streets and say, 
      ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, 
      we wipe off against you;
  • For Jesus, the sin of the people of Sodom was to be inhospitable to strangers. 
  • The towns that reject the disciples of Jesus 
    • and don’t show them hospitality 
    • and reject the peace that he offers 
    • are worse than Sodom.

Think back to Holy Week, when we walked with Jesus through the Last Supper, his Passion, death on the Cross and his Resurrection. 

  • With that in our minds, we ask: are we ready to be recruited to this kind of life? 
  • Jesus must have been loved a lot, since he acted with much gratitude and self-surrender on the cross. 
  • When a person is cared for, gratefulness is the obvious response. 

We are to imitate Jesus. 

  • Jesus is the Christ and showed how close he is to the Father.
  • The Holy Spirit was with Jesus.
  • We see the Trinity in action.
  • Gratitude surely is at the heart of the Trinity. 

In addition today we will have very earthy images. 

  • Take a look at the first reading.
  • It is a beautiful “welcome home” for people who had been exiled from Jerusalem, who had hung up their harps because their broken hearts could not sing in captivity. 

The Lord tells them:

“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, 
all you who love her; 
rejoice with her in joy, 
all you who mourn over her; 
that you may suck and be satisfied 
with her consoling breasts; 
that you may drink deeply with delight 
from the abundance of her glory.”

As a mother comforts her child, so will the Lord comfort the people.

  • These are Godly, mothering images, immediate, compelling. 
  • It is the peace given by God’s motherhood. 
  • It is the peace that our wild and woolly lives emerge from and can journey back to! 

This is what gave Jesus courage on the cross. 

  • As a human, he was comforted and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. 
  • When he was in agony on the cross, he would ask that most terrible question, “why have you forsaken me”? 
  • Jesus’ hope-against-hope, his memory of love gave him bravery, even enmeshed in sin and danger and death.

Such fullness is what we also receive or at least remember. 

  • The experience in which we are loved, 
    • sends us into the world 
    • even when we might forget the fond love that God had for our wriggling, snotty, childish selves. 
  • We can still call to mind what we knew of it in the past, and maybe in our adulthood at this very moment.
  •  Real love, once truly given and accepted, cannot be erased. 
  • The comfort that fondled us as babies still nestles near the very centre of our selves. 

We need to look for it. 

If we do have to search for it, as Jesus seemed to, then we must wait and hope and pray, and not give up. 

Jesus did not give up, on the cross or on the road to the cross

From today’s Gospel reading:

Jesus said to his disciples,

“Go on your way…,

Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals,

and greet no one along the way.”

Into whatever house you enter, first say,

‘Peace to this household.’”

Reflection:

Disciples have important work to do and we must get about our task. We are to be bearers of peace in a tumultuous, peace-starved world; people who announce God’s presence and concern to those who feel cut off from God and on their own. Our message, by our words and actions is, “The kingdom of God is at hand.”

So we ask ourselves:

  • What touched me in the readings today?
  • To whom am I being sent to bring Jesus’ peace-greeting?
  • What do I have to let go of – attitude, hesitations, fears, anxieties – so I can mirror the peace 

Prayer of the Faithful

Leader:          

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s name might be holy and God’s kingdom might come. Let us pray for that spirit of holiness, so that every moment of the life of humanity might be a step nearer to the truth and happiness of that kingdom.

Reader:

We pray for Pope Francis and for our bishops: (pause) that they may live a life that overcomes the walls that divide humanity. 

LORD HEAR US

We pray for South Africa, burdened by violence and destruction: that God’s compassionate care will inspire people to work for the restoration of our country and restore hope to all who are struggling against crime and poverty .

LORD HEAR US

We pray for recognition and affirmation of gifts: that the Spirit will show us the gifts that are present in one another and give us wisdom in calling these forth into the service of God’s reign.

LORD HEAR US 

We pray for those who see no hope or meaning in their life: may God’s peace come into their lives. 

LORD HEAR US

We pray for the homeless and all living in informal shelters in this winter weather: that God will protect them from harm, guide them to the resources that they need, and open the hearts of many to assist them.

LORD HEAR US

We pray for members of our families and friends who have died and those whose anniversaries occur about this time. 

LORD HEAR US

We pray for Sunny Nielsen and Tahleho Moses Rakharebe who died this week. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

And let perpetual light shine upon them. 

May they rest in peace. AMEN

Leader:          Let us pray our PRAYER FOR PEACE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

O God of justice and love, bless us the people of Southern Africa and help us to live in your peace. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, let me sow pardon; where there is discord, let me sow harmony. Divine master, grant that I may not so much seek to be understood, as to understand, to be loved as to love, to receive sympathy as to give it. For it is in giving that we shall receive, in pardoning that we shall be pardoned, in forgetting ourselves that we shall find unending peace with others. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Spiritual Communion

We can unite ourselves to the Eucharist through making a spiritual Communion.

By making an Act of Spiritual Communion, we express our faith in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and ask him to unite himself with us. 

My Jesus, I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament. 
I love you more than anything in the world, and I hunger to receive you. 
But since I cannot receive Communion at this moment, feed my soul spiritually. I unite myself to you now as I do when I receive you. Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE

Leader:          Let us pray to the Father in the words Jesus our Saviour gave us: 

All say:          Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Leader:          Boundless, O God, is your saving power; 
your harvest reaches to the ends of the earth. 
Fill our hearts with zeal for your kingdom 
and place on our lips the tidings of peace. 
Grant us perseverance as heralds of the gospel 
and joy as disciples of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

All:                  Amen.

Blessing

A leader who is a layperson, using no gesture, says:

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. 
Alleluia. Alleluia 

All:                 Amen. Alleluia. Alleluia.

🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈🕈

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.