Fr Vincent's reflections on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2021
When Jesus sends the Apostles out to preach and heal, that already sounds like a lot to expect. Then he tells them to take nothing with them but to trust that God will provide. Jesus knows that we must show the faith we proclaim if we want others to believe. So, how are we living and displaying for others the faith we claim to hold in our hearts?
Watch the video: Fr Vincent's reflections on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2021
Read the script:
15th Sunday – Ordinary Time (July 11, 2021)
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R/. Amen.
The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
R/. And with your spirit.
On this 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time, let us pray:
O God, who show the light of your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honor.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. R/. Amen.
Please pause this video and retrieve your Bible so you can follow along.
The Gospel today is Mark 6:7-13.
✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey
but a walking stick—
no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals
but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
The Gospel of the Lord. R/. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever wondered what the Twelve Apostles felt like when Jesus sent them off to preach and cast out demons? That in itself would seem daunting enough. But then Jesus tells them not to bring anything with them – no food, no money, no extra clothes! Rely on the generosity of strangers. Believe me, people then were no better than they are now. Jesus wanted them really to trust in God’s providence!
I truly don’t know if I could have done what they did. They were asked to come face-to-face with whether or not they truly had trust in God. And, while I can claim to trust God, I am not sure I could do so in such an extreme way. Yet, Jesus was correct. Anyone who tries to tell others to trust God must first show that trust. And it will only be convincing when it is displayed in such a radical way. The Apostles truly where an extreme expression of faith and trust. They didn’t know what to say or what to do, but they allowed the Spirit of God to guide and protect them.
This is how we can show our trust in God in our own lives. Maybe we are not physically walking the roads to preach about Jesus or to cast out demons. But we are still an influence on others in their relationship with God by the way we live our relationship with God. And key to our personal relationship with God is the level of trust we display in God’s providence.
Do we witness to God’s blessings in our lives? We might have jobs and earn money, but do we recognize that our skills to work and earn a living come from God and are not purely self-developed? Thanking God and passing on the praise to God, even when we ourselves are complimented, can teach others that all goodness and all success come from God. This is one way to preach the Gospel of Jesus.
Do we invite others to pray with us when there is a need for prayer? It is a common enough occurrence in each of our days – someone will ask us for prayers, or we might ask them. If time allows for shared prayer in that moment, stop and pray right then and there. Making the promise to pray is very good. But stopping to pray and inviting the other to join in a shared prayer will certainly display our real trusting relationship with God and maybe give the other person the courage to do the same later.
Do we display our Christianity not just with pictures or words but with daily activities which are truly Christ-like? There are so many times when Christians lack being real images of Christ because they are satisfied with an image (wearing a cross), or a word (“God bless you”), but they are not as personally sacrificial as the cross they wear nor as the blessing their words suggest. People need to see actions to prove the depth of our faith and commitment to God.
The Apostles were somewhat empty handed, but that made them rely of God, and their actions proved the message they were sharing. The same is meant to be true for each of us today. The world needs the Gospel, but it needs people living faith and trust, not just claiming to have it. We won’t be doing radical things like the Apostles did, but if we visibly live our relationship with God, then we are showing our faith as did the Twelve Apostles. I do hope copying my actions will make you a better Christian than just remembering my words.
And now, the final blessing.
The Lord be with you. R/. And with your spirit.
May the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit,
come down on you and remain with you for ever. R/. Amen.