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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 15, 2018

Reading 1 AM 7:12-15

Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos,
“Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!
There earn your bread by prophesying,
but never again prophesy in Bethel;
for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.”
Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet,
nor have I belonged to a company of prophets;
I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me,
Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD —for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.

R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.

R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.

R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Reading 2 EPH 1:3-14 OR 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we have redemption by his blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.

or

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of God’s grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we have redemption by his blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

Alleluia CF. EPH 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope that
belongs to our call.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey
but a walking stick—
no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals
but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Sunday Gospel Reflections
Fr. Toto Cerada, SDB
Mary Help of Christians Parish, Calamba City

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
 [July 15, 2018]    Mark 6:7-13

Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them. (Mk. 6:11)

feet and sandOur Gospel today speaks of the mission of the Twelve. They are sent to perform the threefold task: to exorcise the evil spirits, to heal the sick and to preach repentance. This threefold missionary duty reflects Jesus’ mission also in the Gospel according to Mark. To facilitate their preaching ministry, they need to travel light. No extra baggage, no extra burden. They need to travel two by two as a sign of communal and ecclesial dimension of the mission. They shall depend also their sustenance on the generosity of the people. And, when they face rejection, they shall shake the dust off their feet as a symbolic judgment against those who reject them. In ancient time, the Jews shake the dust off their feet when they reenter the Israel soil from the Gentile territories, as a sign of disowning and disapproval of the Gentiles nations.

I am presently having a clinical pastoral education in one of the hospitals in Metro Manila. The program trains me to become a good and compassionate chaplain. One of the basic tasks of a chaplain is to visit the patients, and during our visit, we are to listen to the patients and journey with them as a companion of the sick. To a certain extent, I feel that I am participating in the mission of the twelve Jesus’ disciples, especially in the ministry of healing the sick. However, unlike Jesus’ disciples, I am aware that I do not have the gift of miraculous healing. I often pray for and together with the patients, but so far there is no instantaneous healing, and patients continue to struggle with their sickness. However, the healing is not limited only to physical and biological aspects. It is holistic and includes the emotional and spiritual healing. Our doctors, nurse, and other hospital staffs have done their best to cure their patients’ illness, or at least to help them to bear their illness with dignity. I do believe that they are essentially and primarily Jesus’ co-workers in the ministry of healing. However, with so much load work they carry and limited time and energy, they have to focus on what they are trained for. The chaplains are there to fill in the gaps, to tie the loose ends, to attend to the emotional and spiritual needs.

In my several visits, I am grateful that many are welcoming my presence. However, at times, I feel also unwelcome. At this kind of moment, I am tempted to “shake the dust off my feet” as the testimony against them. After all, the disciples are instructed to do that. However, at the second thought, I try to understand why the patient is not so welcoming. Perhaps, they are in pain. Perhaps, they need rest. Perhaps, the medication affects their emotional disposition. Perhaps, they still have some serious issues that they need to deal with. With this awareness, I cannot simply judge them as “bad guy”. Trying to understand them and empathize with them, I also “shake the dust off my feet”, but this time, it is not the testimony against them, but it is to shake the “dust” of misunderstanding, rash judgment, and apathy. A chaplain is one who carries the mission of Christ to bring healing, and if I address rejection and difficulty with anger and hatred, then I just create more pain and illness.

Whether we are medical professionals or not, all of us are called to participate in this healing ministry of Jesus Christ. All of us are wounded and in pain with so many problems and issues we have in life. Thus, it is our call to bring healing to our family, to our friends, to our society, to our natural environment, and to our Church. This begins with our willingness to “shake the dust off our feet”, the dust of fear and wrong pre-judgment, the dust of rush emotional reactions in the face of challenging situations.

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

The woman needed healing. But she received more. Jesus saved her. God’s generosity is always boundless & unparalleled. Never fear or doubt in asking Him 4 anything. For a miracle of healing, God will giv u heaven.
Life. Love. Salvation. Heaven. Nature. Creation. They are all 4 us w/o cost, freely given by God. The material & spiritual gifts we have are not 4 ours alone. They are 2 be shared w/ others. Be God’s generous stewards.

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

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