Thursday of the 26th Week of the Year

Luke 10:1-12

The Mission of the Seventy Two

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

The sinking of the unsinkable ship, the Titanic, caused the death of approximately 1,500 people. The nearest ship was mile away but it was off duty. It could have rescued all the passengers if it were on duty. Similarly, many Christians are ‘Off-duty.”

Jesus warns his evangelizers on two things: that they work in a conflicting society where, on one hand, they will try to establish fellowship but will also encounter hostility whereby “Man is a wolf to other men.” This means that they will be persecuted because of their desire to transform society into one of brotherhood which clashes with personal interests. But this should not deter the evangelizers nor obstruct them from pursuing their desired goal. However, it must be noted that they have to come to a place with humility and perseverance. As Michael Gott said: “An evangelist is a nobody who is seeking to tell everybody about Somebody who can help change anybody.” (Fr. Jojo Caballes, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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“The harvest is rich and the laborers are few…” Jesus said. We pray for more missionaries! We pray that we become missionaries to one another! (Fr. Ben Limsuan, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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Many of the parish apostolates of the SVD in Taiwan are in the south, all belonging to the Alishan Deanery. Eight years ago during my first visit to our confreres working there, at a mealtime conversation, one of the priests shared his first Chinese mass experience. It was Saturday and the parish priest was going to one of the mission stations to celebrate an anticipated mass. Being new and full of zeal, he immediately asked if he can go with the parish priest to concelebrate. The parish priest agreed and upon arriving in the church, he shown him around then went to the sacristy. Excitedly, he vested, and as they went out walking to the altar, he was surprised to see as many parishioners as there were priests for the celebration. There were two of them priests with two parishioners attending the Mass! He remembered a passage from Scripture – but this time in reverse – the harvest is few but the labourers are abundant.

After the Mass he shared his thoughts with the parish priest. The parish priest agreed that there were very few Catholics in the area but that it was also true that there are many in the area who have not heard the good news. Based on statistics, only about 1% of the population of Taiwan of Taiwan are Catholics, so there are about 99% of the populace whom we can dialogue with, and share the peace and hope we have in Christ. Thus wherever we are sent, we are called to bring peace and share the good news. “The Kingdom of God is at hand for you….” (Fr. Dennis Manzana, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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 Duke University Study

Duke University did a study on “peace of mind.” Factors found to contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability are:

  1. The absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness.
  2. Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.
  3. Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it.
  4. Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress.
  5. Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune.
  6. Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues—love, humor, compassion and loyalty
  7. Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable.
  8. Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest in any test for measuring happiness. (Source unknown)

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Our gospel story about Jesus’ call and the sending of the seventy-two disciples is one that is only found in Luke’s account. Two points to ponder:

  • The work of evangelization is continuous. Scholars say that the insistence of Jesus’ action of calling a group of seventy-two disciples, aside from the twelve, is a “statement.” Jesus wanted to show that the good news of God is for all – not only for Israel, which has always been symbolized by the number Twelve.

More than this, the continuous call of Jesus for disciples to follow Him and share His task also makes us realize that the gospel message is one that continuously needs messengers. Jesus called the Twelve; he called the seventy-two. Jesus said, “The harvest is great but the labourers are few.”

  • Evangelization is not simply geographical. It is, above all, the conquering of people’s hearts and minds for God. This takes much time, much dedication, much repetition. In the beginning of the millennium, Pope John Paul II even speaks of the need for renewing evangelization among those who have been evangelized!
  • The way of evangelization is always a way to peace and martyrdom. Jesus emphasizes: “I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves….In every house you enter say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If there is a peaceable man there, your peace will rest on him. If not, your peace will come back to you.”

Nations that were evangelized were evangelized by men and women who preached the gospel aggressively against all odds. Yes, these same men and women preferred the path of non-violence in the midst of persecutions and martyrdom. (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP, New Every Morning New Everyday p. 292)

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FEAST OF SAINT THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS – LUKAS 9:57-62. UNSA MAY MENSAHE SA KINABUHI NI SAINT THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS? Sa iyang autobiography, gipaambit ni Santa Teresa ang pagtulon-an sa “The Little Way”. Iyang gipasabot nga ang pagsunod ni Kristo atong mahimo diha sa matinud-anong pagbuhat sa inadlaw-adlaw’ng buluhaton. Dili ang kadak-on sa trabaho maoy importante kondili ang kadak-on sa atong gugma. Bisan ang pagpanghugas og plato, pagpanglimpyo sa balay, ug pagbantay sa masakiton makapahimo natong balaan basta kini atong buhaton nga mahigugmaon. Kining mga buhata maoy papel ni Santa Teresa sa kombento, ug tungod kay iya kining gihimo uban sa dakong gugma, gideklara siyang santa sa Simbahan. Gipamatud-an niya ang giingon ni Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/09/feast-of-saint-therese-of-child-jesus.html

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Reflection for October 1, Thursday Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church: Luke 10:1-12

Reflection: Do you want to help Jesus in His mission of evangelization?

Jesus talks about the commissioning of His Seventy two disciples; He said to them that there’s an enormous work for them at hand. They are few but the people whom they will preach the gospel are many.

Up to this very day there are few who preach and fewer still those who preach and live the gospel yet there are millions who needs it badly. They are yearning to hear the words of Jesus and more has not even heard of the life changing words of Jesus.

So what are you doing about it? Will you sit still and stay in your comfort zone and do nothing to share in the ministry of Jesus? Preaching nowadays is not anymore confined to face to face vocal preaching. You could now preach using the internet via your computer and high tech mobile phone.

Instead of posting anything about yourself which many are not actually interested. Post anything that is related to Jesus, post anything about your faith. Post anything that could bring someone closer to God. If you do this you now become a follower not only in words but in deeds as well.

See to it also that you live what you preach or you live what you post in your social media accounts. The perfection of your discipleship for Jesus comes when you live what you preach. For example, if you preach simple living live simply as well, if you preach humility live humility. If you preach forgiveness then be forgiving and throwaway whatever bitterness that you may be keeping in your heart.

Jesus wants you to be His co-laborers in His vineyard; you should not worry about your needs, For he will surely provide for you. Will you help Jesus in His mission of evangelization?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/09/reflection-for-october-1-thursday-saint.html

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CHRISTIANS AS JOYFUL MISSIONARY DISCIPLES – In November 2013, Pope Francis issued the Apostolic Letter “Evangelii Gaudium”(The Joy of the Gospel). He mentions the word “joy” 59 times. This is amazing because many Catholics do not find joy in their religion. They see it as a joykiller because of the many commandments and prohibitions. No wonder most Catholics are not eager to share their faith with others.

Pope Francis emphasizes on the word “joy,” saying that we are supposed to live out the “Good” News. Today’s Gospel passage reminds us that we are not only disciples of Christ but also His missionaries. Pope Francis writes, “Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: We no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries,” but rather that we are always  “missionary disciples… Our falling short of perfection should be no excuse; on the contrary, mission is a constant stimulus not to remain mired in mediocrity but to continue growing.”

To be a missionary disciple, one needs to be in love with Christ, to know Christ and His love and mercy, and to be full of enthusiasm and joy.

On October 4, 2013, Pope Francis told the cloistered nuns of St. Claire in Assisi, “I am so disappointed when I meet nuns who are joyless, who may smile with the smile of a flight attendant but not with the smile of joy that comes from within.”

That applies not only to nuns but to all Catholics who are called to be missionary disciples like the 72 whom Jesus sent out to proclaim the Good News. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you filled with inner joy because you are a Christian? Does your faith make you joyful?

Lord, help me to focus on the joy that You want to fill me with. May this inner joy help me to share the Good News of Your love with my fellowmen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-10-01

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October 1, 2015

Thursday of 26th Week in Ordinary Time

Is 66: 10-14; Ps. 15:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11, Mt 18: 1-4

Feast of St. Theresa of Child Jesus

Secret of the “Little Way”

Today is the feast of St. Theresa of Child Jesus, the author of the “Little Way”, the way of total surrender in love to God the Father, like a child. The Gospel reading begins with a question by the disciples about who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. In his response Jesus makes clear that being in the Kingdom, or belonging to it is not a matter of one’s talents and qualities, but “becoming like a child”. In the Judaism of Jesus time children were treated more as property than persons. The point Jesus makes here is that one must acknowledge dependence upon God, the Father. The allegory is taken to deal less with the innocence of a child and more with its complete dependence upon parents. The reception of a child is an indication that one has accepted the values of the Kingdom and one is no longer concerned with the question of who is the greatest.

In a complex world of ours, filled with doubts and fears, how often do we long to have simple faith of a little child? In her “Little Way” our saint describes her own journey to that ideal and invites us to follow her.

A story is told by the people of a certain village: During a tremendous drought, the people decided to gather and pray that the drought soon end and rain come. About 5000 gathered on a dusty plain and began to pray. Behold, suddenly the clouds darkened and it began to rain. Interestingly, in that large gathering there was only a five-year old girl who had brought an umbrella with her.

The Gospel message has been immortalized in the life of St. Theresa. We must shed our adult cynicism, our fear and mistrust and surrender ourselves completely to the Lord in simple faith. Let us ask St. Theresa to pray for us on this feast day that we might find the strength of faith to become like the little girl who believed that if she prayed for rain, God would surely send it. Fr. Louis Malieckal CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-10-1

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to:  Thursday of the 26th Week of the Year

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