Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflection by Sr. Theresa Fox, OP

Reading 1 – Is 66:10-14c

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort,
that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap;
as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass;
the LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.

Reading 2 – Gal 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,
but only a new creation.
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God.

From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Gospel – Lk 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.”

LUKE 10:1-10, 17-20, GAL 6:14-18

Years ago my parents took my sister and I to visit my brother who lived in Colombia. At the time he worked for the United States government in the AID program. While we were there the US ambassador’s wife had a luncheon at the ambassador’s residence for the wives of the US workers. Lisa took us to this luncheon. It was a lovely affair with good food, live music, gracious service and lots of women. One thing that impressed me was that the china that we used had the seal of the United States on them.

This story came to mind as I was reflecting on today’s readings. Two things struck me – being an ambassador and the seal of our country. An ambassador is someone who has the special mission of representing another – whether that be a nation, a cause or a person. The other thing was the seal of the United States on the china. The seal has no purpose in itself. Its purpose is to call attention to all the United States stands for.

Today we heard that Jesus sent the disciples – not just the twelve – but 72 of them to be ambassadors for him. Go and prepare the way for me. These are the towns I intend to visit. Tell them about me so they will be ready to receive me when I come. Paul in the second reading focuses on the seal of Christ. He wrote “may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” As Christians, the cross is our seal. It calls attention to the person we stand for.

Jesus sends us as his ambassadors and directs us to carry his seal with us. Jesus instructed his disciples – his ambassadors – and he instructs us. Whatever house you enter, first say, Peace to this household.

As we celebrate the birth of our nation this coming weekend and more especially as we live our daily lives, may we always remember that we are ambassadors of Jesus Christ and that we carry the cross as the seal that calls us Christian.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Art to Celebrate Laudato Si’

Justice is an important part of caring for creation. God tasked Adam with caring for all of the creatures of Earth, including Eve and his other brothers and sisters.

In her painting “Two Rivers of Fire,” Sr. Thoma Swanson shows two columns of orange, yellow, and red flames as they close in on black-and-white drawings of countless men, women, and children An Arabic prayer above and below the image translates to, “May the people of Iraq have peace at last.”

“May the people of Iraq have peace at last.” by Sister Thoma Swanson, excerpted from Columbus Alive – Joel Oliphint, Associate Editor


                                            A PRAYER FOR JUSTICE
                      Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.
                     It is your will that they be gathered together as one family in
                     Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love
                     and with the desire to ensure justice for all.
                     By sharing the good things you give us,
                     may we secure an equality for all
                     our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
                    May there be an end to division, strife and war.
                    May there be a dawning of a truly human society built on love and peace.
                                                               We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.


Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Sharing the mantle of peace-building

Reflection by Sr.Annie Killian, who will make her Temporary Profession this weekend.

This Sunday (June 26, 2022), the Thirteenth in Ordinary Time, we read of the prophet Elijah throwing his cloak over Elisha, whom he will anoint as prophet to succeed him (1 Kings 19: 19-21). The prophetic mantle offers a beautiful image for reflecting on the Pax Christi Young Adult Caucus’ 2022 retreat, “Building Paths of Peace Together.” On June 10-12, 14 peacemakers in our 20s and 30s traveled from 10 states to gather at the Stuart Center in Washington, D.C. The retreat, five years in the making, was a joyful time for prayer, collective action, and building community.

four people sitting in a circle talking

A highlight of the weekend was the intergenerational dialogue on Saturday morning. Ten members of Pax Christi USA from the D.C. area joined the retreatants for a conversation about our joys, challenges and hopes as nonviolent peacemakers. Over half of the young adult participants only discovered Pax Christi in the past two years over Zoom, so this was the first opportunity for most of us to meet in person and connect with the larger Catholic peace movement. What a gift to dialogue with the folks whose mantles we are taking up. Their decades of justice work and prophetic witness are our inheritance.

You’ll notice in the Sunday reading that Elijah throws his mantle over Elisha, but he doesn’t yet relinquish it. Instead, the veteran prophet and the newly appointed one spend time together, partnering in works of mighty deeds. This partnership was not only for Elisha’s benefit; Elijah, too, received grace through their companionship. Remember, Elijah had been on the verge of despair when he sought God on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19: 14). Fearing for his life, he wanted to be released from his divine mandate. Instead, God assigned a few more tasks – and also selected for him a helper. Bringing Elisha into the work reenergized Elijah and strengthened his fidelity.

Participants at the June 2022 PCYAC retreat

I hope that the Young Adult Caucus, by building intergenerational partnerships with longtime Pax Christi folks, will help to revitalize the movement. I value the wisdom of those who have long been laboring for just peace in our world. We millennials and Gen Zers need that perspective as we discern what nonviolent witness means for our generation. We, in turn, bring the kind of passion and energy that motivates Elisha’s response. With reckless abandon, he slaughters all his oxen and throws a farewell feast so that he can go all in with Elijah and not look back.

As Pax Christi USA celebrates 50 years, I give thanks for this sacred time we now have to share the mantle of peace-building and accompany one another on the way of nonviolence.

After the intergenerational session in the morning, most of the participants attended the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit Pax Christi USA’s Flickr feed to see photos from the June 11 event.


Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

The Vastness of God’s Love

Blog by Candidate Shingai Chigwedere

I recently volunteered at a weekend retreat at the Dominican Retreat and Conference Center in Niskayuna, NY. The retreat was for persons with disabilities and the theme was, God loves you, based on John 3:16. Some of the retreatants were in wheelchairs due to cerebral palsy, others were hearing impaired, had Down syndrome, or had some memory issues. Each retreatant was paired up with helper/s to provide companionship and in some cases nurses to ensure correct medical attention. As an aside, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), they use the term, people of determination instead of disabilities. I like the term people of determination because it positively describes the lived reality that our retreatants push through every day.

So here I am in Niskayuna, awaiting the arrival of the retreatants. Suddenly, one of our fellow volunteers leaps from her chair and runs out the front door. My heart swelled with warmth as I watched her running exuberantly to greet the van that was transporting her wheelchair-bound friend. It was such a pure, holy moment. An hour later, I received a big hug from a retreatant with Down syndrome whom I had never met before. Her parents explained that she was excited to return to this retreat after a two- year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the weekend, this retreatant would give spontaneous hugs to others. It was always heartwarming and something about her carefree sharing of love stayed with me.

Throughout the retreat, scarves, and instruments (shakers, tambourines, etc.) were provided so that all could fully participate in the Eucharistic celebration. The music team selected upbeat processional and recessional hymns and lively arrangements of the Gloria, Gospel Acclamation, and Doxology to encourage self-expression. You could tell the priests celebrating Mass were touched in an extraordinary way and even joined in by clapping to the hymns. When one retreatant offered a comment after the priest finished his homily, the priest engaged in a loving and affirming manner that made the interaction seem like a regular part of the liturgy. The retreatants enjoyed being together, sharing stories during mealtimes and breaks. There was a real sense of fellowship, oneness, and genuine care for each other. God’s love was palpable and overflowing. It was a sacred space.

As the retreat facilitator talked about the theme, God loves you, I reflected on the big hug I got from the retreatant and how joyfully the volunteer greeted her friend. Is that how much God loves me? Does God delight in me with this exuberance I witnessed? Yes, John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” God gave up the life of His only child, for you and for me. Wow, that is beautiful and overwhelming! I thought I was there to help the retreatants and yet God used this retreat to remind me of the breadth, depth, and width of His love through my sisters and brothers in Christ.

If you are discerning religious life and would like to explore ways God is calling you to share this incredible message of love, please contact our Vocations team.

Posted in God Calling?, News, Vocations Blog

Art to Celebrate Laudato Si’

Some of  SIster Thoma Swanson’s pieces are directly inspired by scripture, such as “Tears for Aaron, Rain on the Green Mountain,” a large acrylic painting referencing the weeping of Aaron, brother of Moses.

“As I read the Psalms, I saw that mountain with the tears coming down, and it struck me. It was this image of the tears of a man that were so plentiful, so huge – this huge burst of tears that could run down a mountain.”

Sr. Thoma Swanson, OP

“Tears for Aaron, Rain on the Green Mountain by Sister Thoma Swanson, OP, excerpted from Columbus Alive – Joel Oliphint, Associate Editor


God of Justice,
Open our eyes to see you in the face of the poor.
Open our ears to hear you in the cries of the exploited.
Open our mouths to defend you in the public squares
As well as in private deeds.
Remind us that what we do
To the least ones, we do to you.
Posted in Peace & Justice Blog