HOMILY FOR THE 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: THE MISSION OF THE DISCIPLES
BY: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JULY 3 2022
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Last Sunday’s liturgy challenged us with the demands of radical discipleship. Today, Jesus sends seventy-two disciples out to proclaim the nearness of the kingdom of God. The gospel passage of today presents us with the commissioning of lay evangelizers. The twelve apostles (disciples) in Christian tradition are identified with ordain ministry. Meanwhile, the seventy-two represents the laity. If this could be understood thus then we can understand as well the mission of the twelve disciples and that of the seventy-two disciples as the mission of the priests and the laity in evangelization.
The mission of the twelve according to Matthew (10:6) was limited to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Meanwhile, the mission of the seventy-two symbolizes the proclamation of the goodnews to the whole world. According to the ancient Jewish tradition, there are twelve tribes of Israel, and seventy-two nations of the world.
The need for the lay involvement in spreading the goodnews is necessitated by the increase in the harvest; “the harvest is full but the labourers are few” (Luke 10:2). Hence, the laity are called to pray and to act… “Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). “Go on your way. See I am sending you…” (Luke 10:3)
In the first reading, God promises Jerusalem prosperity and wealth. He promises peace like a river because in His goodness he knows what the world truly needs. That is PEACE! No human society or individual suffering from lack of peace can prosper until it has peace. Peace is both a gift we must offer to all and a debt that we owe our world. Peace becomes the content of the goodnews we are sent to proclaim. “The kingdom of God has come near you.” The kingdom of God is a kingdom that offer His people peace, joy, happiness, deliverance – hence, Jesus charged them to “heal the sick” (Luke 10:12)
But for them to have a successful missionary journey, there are sets of instructions and guidelines they must strictly adhere to.
– Carry no purse (material possession)
– No bag (burden (often emotional burden)
– No sandals
– Salute no one on the road (Avoidance of unnecessary distraction)
Jesus did not fail to point out the danger that lies ahead of them – “I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” As Christians we live in a very hostile world, a world that rejects truth and embraces falsehood and error, a world that is hostile to peace but welcoming to violence. This is the world we are all sent to, to preach the nearness of God’s Kingdom.
Wherever we find ourselves as Christians is where Jesus wants us to proclaim the goodnews, starting from our homes to our places of work and daily businesses and activities. Let us imagine if the Christian teachers could be faithful witness to Christ in their schools; the doctors in the hospitals, the bank workers in the banks; the police in their stations and duty posts; the legal worker in the courts of justice, etc. Then you can further imagine how transformed and peaceful our world be.
This is a very tough task though because, of the hostility of the world toward the goodnews, but our security is not in material possessions. Our security comes from deep within; from the one who sends us. A security that no one or circumstance can take away from us. So we are called to trust and rely completely on Christ who has called us and is sending us into the world.
*Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya*