Monthly Archives: June 2016

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

I come to offer you peace

 

Introduction

 

“I have no peace.” It’s a confidence that, at a time of particular discomfort, more than one has shown us. Perhaps the friend who had an abortion, or a spouse who was involved in an unmanageable emotional bond or a neighbor tormented by a desire to take revenge for a wrong suffered and did not succeed, or a street girl humiliated and exploited. “I have no peace”—those responsible for crimes, wars, traders of tools of death if they were not stunned by power and money, would shout. “I have no peace”—those engaging in immoral activity, those who commit injustices, but go on with the mind clouded by success, money and lies of flatterers, would repeat.

 

This is the world into which Jesus sends his disciples not to condemn, to curse against corruption and bad morals or to threaten divine punishment, but to announce the peace that everyone—many unconsciously—are desperately seeking.

 

Considering the reality we live in, it really takes a great faith to imagine that it is possible to build a world where peace reigns. It’s easier to believe that God exists than to keep hope in universal peace. Yet this is the mission entrusted to the disciples.

 

Christians have tried to build peace, but not always with the means suggested by the Master who wanted them to be “lambs among wolves.” Sometimes they preferred to resort to force, imposition, intolerance. They are also cloaked in power, like the kings of this world. They have not always walked—poor, meek, defenseless—alongside people in need of peace. Who—like Francis of Assisi—has done it— to have his name written in heaven.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Those who believe in peace will see the great works of the Lord.”

 

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

The invitation to delete the past

 

Introduction

 

The image most used in the Torah to express God’s intervention is the fire: “God is a devouring fire”—says Moses to the people (Dt 4:24); on Sinai “the Lord has come down in the fire” (Ex 19:18); “Fire goes before him” (Ps 97:3); His word “is like fire” (Jer 5:14). “And fire from the Lord came forth” (Nm 16:35). The term “fire” often occurs in the Bible. It denotes the purification brought about by his intervention. Where he arrives a radical transformation takes place, nothing stays the same.

 

It is what happens to every person when the Lord enters his or her life: the past is deleted. All that is incompatible with the presence and the holiness of God is obliterated: behaviors, lifestyles, beliefs, habits, bonds, difficult situations.

 

Elisha burns the tools for plowing, symbol of the profession he had done up to that moment, and decides to enter into the new life to which Elijah called him.

 

The apostles, invited by Jesus to follow him, abandon the nets and Levi leaves everything (Lk 5:27). To whoever wants to be his disciple, the Lord asks to “sell all that he has” and to start a new journey with him (Lk 18:22), and does not admit hesitation, indecision, afterthoughts.

 

Jesus came to bring fire to the earth (Lk 12:49): it takes a great faith to enable him to introduce himself in the enclosure of our lives. We fear that he may consume much of our securities, realities in which, perhaps for years, we have placed our trust and our hopes, that he may burn all that, until now, has given meaning to our lives.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Lord, you are my only good. Show me the path of life.”

 

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