Bear witness to the presence of the heavenly kingdom


July 3: Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings: 1. Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm: 66; 2. Galatians 6:14-18; Gospel: Luke 10:1-12,17-20.

There is a singular focus to today’s biblical texts. It concerns being in God’s company, while being graced to fulfil our daily mission in faith and practice.

Joy and rejoicing are Isaiah’s topic. For him, life finds its true expression in the person who knows what it means to be a child of God. And this is not just a spiritual concept.

To Isaiah’s way of thinking, our bodies must be vitally involved. For in that way, we can show the world that we are actively pursuing a style of life that, in everything we say and do, will reflect the Almighty’s presence.

In Paul’s message to the Galatians, his final address to the churches of Galatia is a nicely honed, impressive statement. At its heart is the cross and its significance for Paul’s life, something the letter’s recipients also need to comprehend for themselves. And it is the body’s part in this that is also emphasised.
For we are all thought to be walking in the shadow of Christ’s cross, and to be doing so in a spirited and uplifting manner. This is the gracious sentiment with which Paul signs off the letter.

Today, sending out the seventy in Luke relates at some length what the mission will entail. Their work is a participation in the coming of God’s kingdom. By implementing what Jesus himself had been doing, his disciples will find success, and return with great rejoicing. But as is made clear, that joy must be genuine. So, rather than gloating over their success, Jesus advises them to let it reflect the great achievements of their missionary vocation, and duly bear witness to the presence of the heavenly kingdom.

By means of these readings, we come to know what we are called to be as genuine children of God.


Fr Kevin Waldie sm

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