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Theology for the common man

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

Sunday, July 07, 2019

"Do not rejoice because the spirits are subjected to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” With these words Jesus instructed his 72 disciples who were sent to the cities with a mission to proclaim the good news, where he himself wanted to go very soon. It was the answer of Jesus, to their unexpected reaction, while people opened their hearts for the good news they proclaimed in Jesus’ name. They were really surprised, when according to the custom of those times, they went in pairs, aid only with the assurance of their Master’ words, - not their articulation, ingenuity, and initiative – they started to tell the people about the Kingdom of God. They were effective, not trusting in themselves, not being important, significant or wealthy persons. Even more than that, they just went to the people that were not kind to them (“I am sending you like lambs among wolves”), and they were able by the power of Jesus to implement in the hearts of those people a divine peace, as Jesus wanted. In this demonstrative way Jesus showed to the world, to his Church and their messengers what the art of evangelization is about and where its success lies. It means, to go with the mission of Jesus (not ours); to proclaim the Kingdom of God (not our will, but God's); to go whenever he sends us in his Church (not where we want to go); not trusting in ourselves and in our protection, but in the Spirit of Christ doing what the Spirit asks and not always received, in a good or friendly environment. In case of rejection, they shouldn’t lose heart, but they should go forward giving the chance to those to listen about the Kingdom of God. The fruits of such evangelization may surprise them by the performance of the miracles and conversions; nevertheless as a matter of fact it is not by their merit but by the Spirit of God. They should enjoy becoming such unusual instruments of God’s grace and only because of that their “names are written in heaven.” It matches very well with what St. Peter told in the 2nd reading today: ”May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world”.