Today’s saint: Maria Faustina Kowalska (Aug. 25, 1905 – Oct 5, 1938)
Nehemiah 8:1-4 … 12 – Psalm 19 – Luke 10:1-12
“Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom He sent out in pairs … and to proclaim, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand.’” (today’s Holy Gospel according to St. Luke)
I think it’s safe for me to say that the average ‘person in the pew’ doesn’t hear words like these being spoken to them. That’s not to denigrate the many lay persons who have accepted their baptismal call to be ‘priest, prophet and king,’ but we still have a ways to go to get many people to see that their duty as believing Christians is more than the typical “pay & pray” attitude that is still prevalent to many.
The bottom line in today’s Holy Gospel seems to be one that seeks to make us trust in God and not in our own weakness. Jesus says, “Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’” With the understanding of the words of St. Thomas Aquinas – “You can’t give what you do not have.” – we need to know what “peace” means. Take a moment to think about that word. If you don’t have at least a spark of understanding it will be almost impossible for you to offer peace to anyone.
I remember a man in one parish where I was assigned who, at the “sign of peace” would say, “My peace I give to you!” and at first that switch in wording put me off. But maybe he was more aware than I thought. In the end, it’s more important for us try to share even the little bit of awareness of God’s Peace with those around us than to wait until another time somewhere down the road. If we wait until we have it all worked out we’ll miss precious opportunities of sharing God’s presence and grace with those around us.
Two things to focus on in today’s liturgy: first: we’re always being sent out. You’ll be hard pressed to find any words of Jesus that hint that His gifts to us are meant to be hidden is a “prayer closet.” Secondly: don’t wait around for a fuller understanding of God’s presence in your life. Even if you think you only have a little spark of His Peace and Trust – go with that. You’ll be surprised to see how powerful it can be in your life. Amen!