(15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 12th July 2015)
In Sacred Scriptures, we know that on many occasions, God picks and sends what appears to be very ordinary people to speak His word, and to carry out His will. We find this in this Sunday’s readings; in the First Reading, we are presented with Amos, who does not pretend to any great dignity to bolster up his mission. Amos is of a peasant background, a shepherd and a dresser of sycamore trees. With this simplicity, he faces the task God gave him.
In similar fashion Jesus sends the Apostles on a mission. They are ordinary men, sent out to challenge the wise and sophisticated people of the world. He gave them His authority and a share of His power. They are not even to arm themselves with many provisions even for their journeys. Their work is to depend completely on the power of the Lord. Last Sunday, St Paul tells us that it is when we are weak, that we are strong – meaning, God works best in us when we are not about worldly power, and self elevating.
By the grace of our Baptismal dignity, we too, are given the mission of speaking out for God. Being an ‘ordinary’ Christian is no excuse for remaining silent. Parents can pass on God’s word through the rearing of children in the faith. Workers can uphold Christian values at their workplaces. All Christians are supposed to be ‘salt’, and ‘light’ – making a difference ‘out there’ in the culture to which we belong. Evangelization is our business. We must not be “Sunday Christians” only, drawing a dichotomy between worshipping and daily living as though they are two separate compartments of our lives.
For this to happen, we need to recover a clear Catholic identity, and the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of our faith, including a deep love and understanding of the Eucharist. This is one of the visions of the Second Vatican Council – that our faith are well informed, and that we can take it into our workplaces, our political spheres, our home, etc. For most Catholics, that vision is still to be realised.
Blessings… Fr Michael