Sunday, July 7, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, July 7, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 66:10-14
10 Thus says the Lord: Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her! 11 Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts! 12 For thus says the Lord: Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; 13 as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort. 14 When yousee this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bodies flourish like the grass; the Lord’s power shall be known to his servants.
P S A L M - Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all you on earth, sing praise to theglory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!” (R) “Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you, sing praise to your name!” 5Come and see the works of God,  his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam. (R) He has changed the sea into dry land; through the river they passed on foot; therefore let us rejoice in him. He rules by his might forever. (R) 16 Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. 20 Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness! (R)
2ND READING - Galatians 6:14-18
14 Brothers and sisters: 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. 15 For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. 16 Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God. 17 From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. 5Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ 10Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, 11 ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.” 17The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” 18 Jesussaid, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. 19Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”


During my novitiate, we had mission work on holidays. A week or two would be spent in a parish in order to develop skills and missionary experience. Often, we would hike to our destination, or seek a ride from passing travelers. If we were unlucky, we would walk for miles. It was tough, challenging and real missionary work. Traveling to our destination could be a missionary experience, too, especially if we got into a car whose driver had no knowledge of faith, which would then be our springboard to witness and evangelize. Those were the days!

       The disciples are called to missionary endeavors. Itinerant preachers were the name of the game. They had a set regime to follow, with words and deeds to match. After a period of time, they returned with joy, sharing their experiences with Jesus. I remember feeling the same way. Upon return, it was a great delight to share with the community the works of God. It was a real testament to the faithful provision of God, for He never failed to provide.

       We are all called to be missionaries of God’s love. That is why I admire the Opus Dei, the Focolare Movement, the Disciples of Jesus Community, and other Charismatic communities who seek to bring God to the workplace. It is a tough world out there and it takes courageous souls to conquer it. I am sure, in many of the disciple’s missionary experiences, they were challenged in their faith, love and hope. They would have experienced rejection, with persecution on the side. But the report we find in the Gospelis one of wonder and awe. They paved the way straight for the Lord, who was to follow. Someone once said, “Be ye fishers of men. You catch them —He’ll clean them.” The Lord really does trust us to do His work. Yes, we can be mindful of our weaknesses and shortcomings, but the rewards are “out of this world.” Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What are your mission areas — home, school or work? How can you bring peace and healing to those around you?

Lord, I thank You for calling me to be a missionary. Help me fulfill my mission of bringing Your love to all. Amen.

Blessed Emmanuel Ruiz and Companions, pray for us.

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