Gospel Reflection: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JULY 3, 2016

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Let the peace of Christ control your hearts;

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

The Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.  He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. 

Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.  Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.  Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’  If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.  Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment.  Do not move about from one house to another.   Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ 

Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.   I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”   Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.  Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

REFLECTION

In interpreting passages of the bible there is an ancient practice called Typology which views and identifies persons or events as prefiguring what comes later in the Sacred Scriptures.  In order words, an event or person of the Old Testament is seen as foreshadowing persons or events in the New Testament, and thereby, the Old finds its fulfillment in the New!

An example of this form of interpretation can be seen in the person of Moses and an event found in the Book of Numbers (11: 22-26).  Moses, the great prophet and priest calls forth seventy two men to assist him in his ministry.  From the vantage point of today’s Gospel, Moses and this event would be referred to as biblical types because they foreshadow what is to take place in the New Testament.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it in this way:  one discerns in God’s works of the Old Covenant prefiguration of what He accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of His Incarnate Son (#128).

Therefore, using this approach of typology, we can see Jesus as the New Moses who provides the New Law of the Beatitudes from a mountain like Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai.  And again, as Moses designated seventy-two persons to receive the power of God to assist in his ministry, so Jesus fulfills this prefiguring by appointing seventy-two with the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim: The kingdom of God is at hand for you.  In this approach to biblical interpretation we can more deeply appreciate that God’s divine plan that began long ago is indeed brought to fulfillment in Jesus Christ!

Last week we reflected on our identity as Disciples of Christ. This week we continue our reflection by recognizing that from Moses, to the seventy-two, to ourselves, disciples are called by God in every age and empowered by Him.  Like those of the past, we too have been called to proclaim the Kingdom of God.  Indeed, the Lord sends us like lambs among wolves, therefore the challenges and risks remain.   However, Christ never leaves us orphans as the Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs II so clearly testifies: Now, as your Church makes her pilgrim journey in the world, you always accompany her by the power of the Holy Spirit and lead her along the paths of time to the eternal joy of your Kingdom ….  With confidence then, in all we do, whether accepted or rejected, let us proclaim: the kingdom of God is at hand.

BE BOLD AND FEAR NOT! In the ordinary tasks in family and at work, let us build up God’s Kingdom by self sacrificing acts of love.  May these words of Christ in the Gospel take deep root in us: I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you ….  When encountering evil, say: In the Name of Jesus, be gone!  And, bless all in the Name of Jesus – whether accepted or not – proclaim the Kingdom of God!  And, rejoice because your names are written in heaven!

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

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