July 11, 2021
The Lord plucked me from my flock and told me: “Go and prophesy to my people Israel.”
He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.
He called the Twelve Jesus and sent them out two by two.
Reading of the Prophet Amos 7: 12-15
In those days Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, said to Amos:
“Seer, go, flee to the territory of Judah. There you can earn your bread and there you can prophesy. But at Bethel do not prophesy again, because it is the sanctuary of the king and the house of the kingdom.
But Amos answered Amaziah:
“I am neither a prophet nor a son of a prophet. I was a shepherd and sycamore grower.
But the Lord tore me from my flock and told me: ‘Go and prophesy to my people Israel.’
Ps. 84, 9ab-10. 11-12. 13-14
R / Show us, Lord, your mercy and give us your salvation.
I’m going to listen to what the Lord says: “God announces peace to his people and to his friends.”
Salvation is near to those who fear it, and glory will dwell in our land. R.
Mercy and fidelity meet, justice and peace kiss;
faithfulness springs from the earth, and justice looks down from heaven. R.
The Lord will give us rain, and our land will yield its fruit.
Justice will march before him, and his steps will point the way. R.
A reading from the letter of Saint Paul the Apostle to Ephesians 1, 3-14
Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with all kinds of spiritual blessings in heaven.
He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him through love.
He has destined us through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to be his children, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he has so generously granted us in the Beloved.
In him, through his blood, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, according to the wealth of grace that in his wisdom and prudence he has squandered for us, making known to us the mystery of his will: the plan that he had projected. to carry out for Christ, in the fullness of time: to recapitulate in Christ all things in heaven and on earth.
In him we have also inherited those who were destined by decision of the one who does everything according to his will, so that we may be the praise of his glory who previously hoped in the Messiah.
In him we too, after having heard the word of truth – the gospel of our salvation – believing in him we have been marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.
He is the pledge of our inheritance, while the redemption of the people of his property comes, to the praise of his glory.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 6: 7-13
At that time, Jesus called the Twelve and sent them out two by two, giving them authority over unclean spirits. He ordered them to take a cane and nothing else for the road, but no bread, no saddlebag, no loose money in the belt; to wear sandals, but not a spare tunic.
And he added:
“Stay in the house where you enter, until you leave that place. And if a place does not receive or listen to you, when you leave, shake the dust from your feet, as a testimony against them ”.
They went out to preach conversion, cast out many demons, anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.
Today’s Word of God again tells us about the figure of the prophet and the meaning of prophecy. We already remembered last Sunday that a prophet is the person chosen by God, segregated from his people, to speak on his behalf, to communicate God’s message to his own.
In the first reading we observe again that God is the one who chooses and also the one who sends. He chooses who he wants. In the case of Amos, he chooses him, taking him out of his daily tasks, since he says that he was a shepherd and farmer, took care of sheep and grew figs. He chooses it even with some inner opposition and enables it. Someone said that God does not choose for his Church the probably best, but that God chooses people at the service of the Kingdom and prepares them to carry out his mission. That is, he does not choose the most capable, but he trains those he chooses.
This text from Amos invites us to personal reflection, to realize that God also calls me and sends me to prophesy to my people, he pulls me out of my routines and comforts to be their witness, knowing that No one is a prophet in his land and, perhaps, my life will go down in the effort. He “sees and prophesies to my people Israel” is a paradigm of the missionary action of the Church, in which we are integrated by baptism. As baptized we must also feel sent by the Lord, missionary disciples of Jesus.
In today’s Gospel we have seen how Jesus calls and chooses those whom he wants, the Twelve, to constitute the new People of God, which will no longer be reduced to the people of Israel, but will be extended to all humanity. The Master prepared his disciples so that they too would be teachers, so that they would make him present. He made them participants in his mission. He gave them the same power and authority that He had to heal the sick and cast out demons. And he sent them two by two, as a team, in community, without material support except what is strictly necessary, so that it would better manifest that the power with which they acted was not personal and their own but of God, so that they would not boast of something that can only come from God. It was the first test of what later has been and will continue to be the mission of the Church throughout the world: to preach the conversion and the mercy of God, to free all humanity from misery and evil.
Thanks to the mission of the Church, the Gospel of Christ reached us, transformed our lives and forged us as new witnesses and missionaries, sent by Jesus himself to continue the task that he began with the Twelve. The center of the mission continues to be the person of Jesus, who sends us, who grants us his power, who is the one to whom we must proclaim. Pope Francis says: “No Christian announces the Gospel by himself, but only sent by the Church that has received the mandate of Christ himself. It is precisely baptism that makes us missionaries. A baptized person who does not feel the need to announce the Gospel, to announce Jesus, is not a good Christian ”.
The style of the mission must be the style of Jesus, who being rich became poor for us. That is why we must not support the mission of the Church in worldly powers, in marketing strategies, in favoritism or unhealthy and binding reciprocities, in money, in influences, in complicit opacities or silences. Only trusting and supported by the power of God, only from the truth of the Gospel, only from humility and patience, only from poverty and the scarcity of means and resources, will it be clear and manifest that it is Jesus who sends us and acts to through us, it is he who liberates and gives his grace to those who from all eternity look on with love.
What a precious description of who we are and what we are called to be we find today in the second reading. Each sentence, each statement deserves a reflection and a comment. It is worth reading and meditating carefully, in the first person, feeling that each of the statements is said for me. I have been created by and for the Lord, redeemed by his blood, marked by his Spirit, called to eternal life.
Lord Jesus Christ, may your presence completely flood my whole being,
and your image is marked by fire in my entrails,
so that I can walk in the light of your figure,
and think how you thought, feel how you felt,
act like you acted, speak like you spoke,
dream as you dreamed, and love as you loved.
May I, like You, not worry about myself to worry about others;
be insensitive to myself and sensitive to others;
sacrifice myself, and be at the same time encouragement and hope for others.
May I be, like You, sensitive and merciful;
patient, meek and humble; sincere and truthful.
Your favorites, the poor, be my favorites; your goals, my goals.
Those who see me, see you. And I become a transparency of your Being and your Love. Amen
(Father Ignacio Larrañaga, Meeting 48)
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