Browsing Homilies

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Am 7:12-15 | Ps 85 | Eph 1:3-14 | Mk 6:7-13

Today, we learn what it means to be sent by God. We are also reminded of one of the most amazing and wonderful things about us as human beings, particularly as Christians:

In our gospel reading Jesus sends his disciples out to preach repentance. Notice how he prepares the disciples, telling them how they must go out to the people. First, they go two by two. The reason for that is because they are witnessing to what Jesus taught them. For a valid testimony back in Jesus’ time, two witnesses were needed. Upon seeing this, the people of the towns and villages would trust them from the start. In addition, Jesus instructed them to go simply. They would take no food, purse, messenger bag, money, or a change of clothes. They were to stay where they were accepted but to leave where they were not welcomed or listened to. Imagine what this must have felt like for the disciples. They had nothing and were dependent on the people for whom they were preaching. They wouldn’t always be accepted, and if they weren’t, they had nothing to fall back on. Still they went off, preached repentance, chased out demons, and cured many who were sick.

The prophet Amos was also sent to prophesy. Like the disciples, he wasn’t necessarily a trained speaker. God chose him and sent him from shepherding a flock and tree trimming. Amos was rejected and sent away from Bethel. But that didn’t stop him. Amos and Jesus’ disciples had much in common. They were sent to prophesy to the people of their time. They did as they were told. They were traveling missionaries.

Do you ever wonder how they could’ve done this, doing what they have never done before? They didn’t even have a safety net to fall back on! What does that mean for us today? We are also sent, and here is the best news of all: God has blessed us in Christ. “In love God destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ.” This means we belong to God as daughters and sons, and God chose us in Jesus before the foundation of the world.

We’ve all heard this many times, throughout the years. Maybe it struck us as so amazing that it’s unbelievable. But it is the truth (we belong to God as daughters and sons, and God chose us in Jesus before the foundation of the world); and with this gift comes responsibility, and we’ll answer for it when our time comes. Being children of God is not only a grace, but a responsibility. We are sent as Jesus our brother was sent. We are all prophets with a mission. This means we must speak up for others when it would be easier and more comfortable to be quiet. If we aren’t listened to, we shake off the dust from our feet and move forward.

This should never frighten us or make us to feel uneasy, but rather lift us up! And, yes, while we are responsible to God, that doesn’t mean we all need to give up our life as we know it. It means doing what we can for others.

It can mean giving money at times for worthy causes, but much more than that, it means speaking up for the good of others as well as ourselves. It could mean talking as a family, supporting and encouraging each other. It might mean speaking a kind word or praising someone for a job well done. Bring prophetic doesn’t necessarily mean changing your life entirely and dramatically, though sometimes that happens too!

No matter your situation or vocation, remember that you are sent as God’s son or daughter, and no matter what you are led to and made to endure, God will never leave your side!


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