Vol: 43, No.39 14TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( C) July 03 2016  
 
LITURGY AND LIFE

Today we live in a society that has made advancement in every sphere of life including the theological thinking process. We are slowly moving from a patriarchal, male-dominated set-up to a more gender inclusive and egalitarian society. At least this is what the feminist theologians have been hoping and fighting for. But this cry for an egalitarian society that is ruled by kindness and compassion which are feminine qualities is not altogether new. For in the Song of Zion, the Prophet projects God as a mother who comforts her sucking children. Our experience shows that when it comes to nursing and suckling a child, there is none compared to its mother. When God is openly telling that He would fit into this role, we can do nothing else but marvel at Him. God who is the Supreme Being cannot be holding only the male characteristics and ignore the other half of humanity. When people are in distress what really counts are words of encouragement, consoling gestures and words of hope which indicate that no matter what the present troubles are there is always going to be a better future. This alone can bring the distressed person back to his/her normal self. This is exactly what the prophet has done and this we should do too.
Compared to the first reading that is full of hope and tenderness the passage from Galatians is full of animosity and confrontation. Paul has preached to the Galatians the gospel of the free grace of God through Christ. They have warmly and affectionately received Paul and his message. The converts have willingly endured persecution for their faith and are enthused when Paul leaves them. But

 

soon news of a sudden and drastic change in attitude towards him and his gospel reaches Paul. Certain Jewish teachers, who are professed to be Christians and acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, are obscuring the simplicity of the gospel of free grace with their propaganda. They insist that to faith in Christ must be added circumcision and obedience to the Mosaic Law. Paul realizes clearly that this teaching will neutralize the truth of Christ’s all-sufficiency for salvation and destroy the message of justification by faith. Paul does not give in to the distortion of the gospel but assisted by the grace of God and mental toughness required in such conditions challenges his detractors and establishes the truth of the gospel which eventually triumphs.
The gospel of today affirms that the preaching of the kingdom is not limited to the Twelve. Mission and prayer should go hand in hand. A broader circle of disciples thus participates in Jesus’ mission, just like Moses was once assisted by the seventy elders (Exod 24:1). The evangelist puts greater emphasis on the urgency of the mission, but also on the hostility the disciples will have to face. The harvest is plentiful. The Word of God has found fertile soil and the missionaries are invited to collaborate in gathering the fruits of the harvest. They should travel light and not waste time with extensive greetings, and be satisfied with the hospitality that they are being offered, and not search for better lodging. In the houses they offer their hosts the biblical ‘Peace to this house’ and in the cities they cure the sick and proclaim the nearness of the Kingdom of God. There will be opposition to their mission which should be endured.

– AK
July 2016 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 2
04 Mon (W) St Elizabeth of Portugal, Hos 2:16-18, 21-22/ Ps 145:2-9/ Mt 9:18-26
05 Tue (G) Hos 8:4-7, 11-13/ Ps 115:3-10/ Mt 9:32-38
06 Wed (G) St Maria Goretti, Hos 10:1-3, 7-8, 12/ Ps 105:2-7/ Mt 10:1-7
07 Thu (G) Hos 11:1-4, 8-9/ Ps 80:2-3, 15-16/ Mt 10:7-15
08 Fri (G) Hos 14:2-10/ Ps 51:3-4, 8-9, 12-13-14, 17/ Mt 10:16-23
09 Sat (G) Isa 6:1-8/ Ps 93:1-2, 5/ Mt 10:24-33
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