Fourteenth Sunday, Year C, 3 July, 2022: Isaiah 66:10-14c; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
I don’t think that anyone sitting here in choir is likely to say, “This Gospel doesn’t apply to me; this is addressed to people in the active ministry.” I imagine that we all realize that our way of proclaiming the Gospel is our life together. Isn’t that implied by our vow of stability? We commit ourselves to this specific place, with these particular people, shaped by this location while shaping it, interacting with these people, trying to live as true disciples of the Lord.
Vowed to remaining here also means owning how imperfectly we actualize our goal; but also, that again and again, we learn from our short-comings, esteeming what we have learnt the hard way.
Every time we celebrate the liturgy, we announce the word of God to one another, as well as to all who join us. Every time we leave choir, we attempt again to live what we have just celebrated.
Inevitably, each of us encounters people who are not part of this community: guests, neighbors, employees, generous helpers, visitors, relatives and friends. How we interact with them—for the Good News is not just words—hastens or frustrates the coming of God’s Kingdom.
We live in an environment of silence, specifically silence to listen more deeply. How often, is that listening, that silence and that patient presence, just the sort of support, healing and hope—so much better than pious platitudes or slogans—that people need to perceive the Good News?
How often is prayer the only option we have to respond to the tragedies unfolding around us? Then we must enter into the mystery of powerlessness and deepest silence that God embraced on Good Friday. Then we truly proclaim the mystery of salvation and the uncomfortable hope of Holy Saturday. Then we join the millions who suffer around the world in seeming dead-ends; millions who would never claim in their travail the righteousness of Job, yet still desperately cry out. Though we never see them or meet them, don’t we preach by our anguished, living prayer, the promise of God’s coming kingdom?