Transformed with the Mission

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Fr. Chinnappan Pelavendran

The Church, by its nature, is missionary.” Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus summoned his seventy two committed people and sent them two by two to communicate God’s love, to bind up wounds, and to be peacemakers in a troubled world. Jesus calls each to be ready for the mission.

In today’s first reading, God in his infinite goodness offers us peace: “Now towards her I send overflowing peace like a river.” When we allow this peace to flow into our hearts and guide our lives, we become fulfilled, satisfied, and our communities and the entire world become a wonderful place. Therefore God calls us to be messengers, instruments, and agents of this peace. It must flow from and through us to others.

In the second reading, St. Paul prays, “Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.”  This means that peace comes to our hearts, homes, communities, societies, and world when we work in harmony with the will of God. It comes to all who bear the marks of Christ as St. Paul did. So, we must make room for peace so that our joy may be complete in Jesus Christ.

Today’s Gospel reading tells us of the missionary journey of the disciples. The persons who had lived with Jesus and understood his mission and his work now go out to continue his mission. Luke tells us that Jesus “appointed seventy-two disciples and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go…” It is a gift we must offer to our world. Jesus knows very well that this is what our world needs most, and he is ever ready to let us have it. With the peace that Christ offers us, we must be prepared to transform our world from a culture of war and hatred to a culture of peace. He invites us to be instruments of his peace. What we must bring to our world is the good news of the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The mission was dangerous and difficult, yet indeed challenging with joy to the disciples. The seventy-two returned with joy and their hearts filled with thanksgiving, rejoicing and excited. They discovered they could do the same things that Jesus was doing. They could heal, drive away demons and even bring the dead to life. They were the extension of Jesus in every possible way. Their life was transformed with the mission given to them.

Today we must pray with St. Francis of Assisi, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.”

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