July 3, 2022
by Larry Hopp
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 102

Isaiah 66:10-14c
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Galatians 6:14-18
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 OR Luke 10:1-9
Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Understanding the Mass

As we ponder the state of our current society,  we yearn for a power of righteousness to rise up and overcome all the evil that often times seems to be winning.  Yet, should we ever doubt who is in total control in this world, today’s Lectionary provides a clear and concise answer to that question.

In the concluding chapters of Isaiah, we find in stark/frightening detail of what God’s final judgements will entail leading up to the appearance of the New Heavens and the New Earth.  Isaiah’s narrative in chapters 63 through 65 detail judgement against all evil.  That dark picture, however,  brightens in today’s first reading in chapter 66 where we find the sweet hope of what heaven will be like for all of us who have chosen to give our lives to Jesus.  We will finally find our comfort.  Our hearts will  rejoice, and our bodies will flourish like the grass.  That promise is so comforting.   We will clearly experience the Lord’s power, that holy power of righteousness that will overcome all the powers of evil.

Psalm 66 serves as an incredible anthem to the message we find in Isaiah.  “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.”  This glorious joy springs forth from all that our God has done through the ages.  Those amazing deeds extend beyond history to the promised New Jerusalem.  It is no wonder that “all the earth” will join us in praising our God with indescribable joy.

In his letters to the churches of Galatia and the church at Colosse, Paul speaks to the truth and power found in an unwavering commitment to following Jesus,  the truly Good News for us all.  For it is through this truth that we will experience the grace and peace that can only be found through Christ and the promises described not only in Isaiah, but throughout the Bible.

While the entire Lectionary to this point succinctly lays out the unmatched power of our God and the righteous judgement that emanates from that almighty power, where does that leave each of us in our lives today.  Grasping the overwhelming concept of our mighty God certainly should open our hearts to truly commit to Him, to be Born Again.  Today’s Gospel leads us to passionately live a life that courageously points others to Him.

Perhaps never more evident than in today’s world, the “harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few”! !  Jesus sends out “72 others” to proclaim that “the kingdom of God is at hand.”  He told them that the task would not be easy.  They would be like “lambs among wolves.”  While He reminded them that they will face adversity, they are promised that God will provide all their needs.  Each of us are actually the “others” mentioned here.  In the four Gospels, just prior to his ascension Jesus directed his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  They are told to teach them to obey everything Jesus had commanded them, and further that they are “to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”  They are to “feed my sheep.”  Throughout these commissions, Jesus promised that the disciples would be “clothed with power from on high” and that surely, He will be with them always to the very end of the age. 

Seems pretty clear, it is obvious that God is in complete control.  He has given us a noble commission.  No matter the challenges and obstacles found in each of our lives, as laborers for God, we have a job to do - to proclaim the good news and the fact that the kingdom of God is indeed at hand.  We must urgently pursue this directive with unquenchable power from our almighty God!

Dear Heavenly Father, help us never to forget the commission given to each of us to live our lives as you have ordained. Help us to effectively reach our hurting world with the good news of Jesus and the message that the Kingdom of God is truly at hand.  We pray this with the blessed assurance of your daily guidance and power.

In Jesus’ holy, holy name.     Amen

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Larry Hopp <Larry.hopp@outlook.com>

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