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.”
FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME -JULY 3, 2022
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.