Liturgy of the Sunday

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feast of the apostle Thomas. He confessed Jesus as his Lord and, according to tradition, witnessed him all the way to India.


First Reading

Isaiah 66,10-14

Rejoice with Jerusalem, be glad for her, all you who love her! Rejoice, rejoice with her, all you who mourned her! So that you may be suckled and satisfied from her consoling breast, so that you may drink deep with delight from her generous nipple. For Yahweh says this: Look, I am going to send peace flowing over her like a river, and like a stream in spate the glory of the nations. You will be suckled, carried on her hip and fondled in her lap. As a mother comforts a child, so I shall comfort you; you will be comforted in Jerusalem. At the sight your heart will rejoice, and your limbs regain vigour like the grass. To his servants Yahweh will reveal his hand, but to his enemies his fury.

Psalmody

Psalm 65

Antiphon

It is you, Lord, who has restored our lives.

Cry out with joy to God all the earth,
O sing to the glory of his name.

O render him glorious praise.
Say to God : 'How tremendous your deeds!

Because of the greatness of your strength
your enemies cringe before you.

Before you all the earth shall bow;
shall sing to you, sing to your name!'

Come and see the works of God,
tremendous his deeds among men.

He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the river dry-shod.

Let our joy then be in him;
he rules for ever by his might.

His eyes keep watch over the nations:
let rebels not rise against him.

O peoples, bless our God,
let the voice of his praise resound,

of the God who give life to our souls
and kept our feet from stumbling.

For you, O God, have tested us,
you have tried us as silver is tried :

you led us, God, into the snare;
you laid a heavy burden on our backs.

You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water
but then you brought us relief.

Burnt offering I bring to your house;
to you I will pay my vows,

the vows which my lips have uttered,
which my mouth spoke in my distress.

I will offer burnt offerings of fatlings
with the smoke of burning rams.
I will offer bullocks and goats.

Come and hear, all who fear God.
I will tell what he did for my soul :

to him I cried aloud,
with high praise ready on my tongue.

If there had been evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.

But truly God has listened;
he has heeded the voice of my prayer.

Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer
nor withhold his love from me.

Second Reading

Galatians 6,14-18

But as for me, it is out of the question that I should boast at all, except of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. It is not being circumcised or uncircumcised that matters; but what matters is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this as their rule and to the Israel of God. After this, let no one trouble me; I carry branded on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 10,1-12.17-20

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself would be visiting. And he said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to do his harvesting. Start off now, but look, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Take no purse with you, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, let your first words be, "Peace to this house!" And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is put before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, "The kingdom of God is very near to you." But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, "We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near." I tell you, on the great Day it will be more bearable for Sodom than for that town. The seventy-two came back rejoicing. 'Lord,' they said, 'even the devils submit to us when we use your name.' He said to them, 'I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Look, I have given you power to tread down serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

Jesus, who had started his journey to Jerusalem, felt that it was important for the people he would meet to be prepared to welcome his proclamation. This is why he sent 70 disciples for this mission in the cities and villages of Galilee. The number 70 is symbolic as it was the number of the nations on earth. The meaning was clear: already from the small Galilee the horizon of Jesus was already open to all nations of the earth. Jesus wants that everyone receive the Gospel and be saved. It is by Jesus' very will that Christian proclamation is destined to all, no one must be excluded. This missionary perspective is particularly important tin this moment of our history. Unfortunately many, even among believers, are tempted to close up in themselves, in their own borders. On the contrary Jesus invites us to rise our eyes: "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few, therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest."
Today's crowds are frightened, disoriented, saddened, oppressed by violence and conflict, as well as by pandemics and the upheaval of creation. We might say that everyone is waiting for those seventy disciples to go everywhere two by two. We might think that they are few compared to the immensity of the questions. It is an insidious temptation. For the Lord, two are enough, as they know how to visit homes and cities, bringing the greeting of peace. Their strength does not lie in human strategies, but in the Gospel of love. And Jesus exemplifies their strength in spite of their apparent weakness: "Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves." It may seem difficult for a "lamb" to change the life of a "wolf;" for love to overcome the fears, arrogance and violence that seem to reign in the hearts of so many. But the Gospel is the only strength of the disciples. This is well known today by those Christians who are victims of persecution. The testimony of one of them, Father Jacques Mourad, a Syrian monk imprisoned by the Islamic State, is beautiful. He testifies that "war turns even the best men into beasts," into wolves we might say. But he also adds, "I have seen my executioners change. I saw their hearts open up... Compassion and prayer for our enemies can save the world from the barbarity into which it is falling!" Father Jacques is among those lambs who defeat the wolves only by the power of the Gospel. It is the only force that changes the world. All of us - some more, some less - are witnesses of the miracles of the Gospel of love, to the point of being able to make our own the joy of the seventy: "Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!" And Jesus repeats also to us: "I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning." It is the miracle of the love for the poor that reveals the crash of the walls of indifference and the building of bonds of love. The joy of those who are helped and those who help grows. We are invited to rejoice for this link of love writes our names in heaven.