15th Sunday of the Year (b) 2018
As Catholics we are called to feel always a bit uncomfortable. Not much, just a bit. To feel that we should be doing more. And if you feel this way then that is a good sign. The Holy Spiit is working in you. The opposite is to feel comfortable and satisfied. The world around us can be on fire but we don’t notice; don’t really care: what can I do?! However, Christ came to stir us up, to take us out of our comfort zone.
Today’s gospel tell us that Christ sent the 12 apostles out in pairs to preach and to heal. He ahd a message that he couldn’t give on his own. The world he lived in was on fire; there was corruption and injustice; there were people who were lost, lost souls, like sheep without a shepherd. As he sent his disciples out he told them not to take anything for the journey, no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. He wanted them to trust him; that he would look after their needs. Because he wanted them to concentrate on other things; to tell the people his good news; that they are loved by God; that He is a God of mercy; and wants to set them free from all their burdens, beginning with sin.
2,000 years later Jesus is still sending out his followers to preach the good news to a world that needs to hear it. We live in a secular and materialistic society. Many people in the UK, at least, are comfortably off. They don’t need God; at least, that is what they think. But our world with all its wealth and comfort is full of unhappy people; lost souls, like sheep without a shepherd. Nothing has really changed in 2,000 years; human nature is the same. God needs us to go out to our world. When we see the unhappiness, the corruption, the violence He doesn’t want us to feel comfortable.
No doubt the first disciples when they were sent out , questioned what they could do: how could they do anything in the face of such opposition. Yet they remembered Christ’s words about trusting in him. As a result, in spite of themselves, they did great things. Today, there is not so much direct opposition or hostility. What we face today is apathy; we live in a world of “whatever”! So if you are feeling you should do more than thank God. The Holy Spirit is stirring things up inside you. Trust in God; don’t worry about what to do or what to say; that will be given to you. God needs you; if you don’t take his message to our world, who will? As St Teresa of Avila is reputed to have said, “Christ has no body now but your. No feet, no hands but yours”.
So, if you pray and are open, you will feel uncomfortable, but that is good. We are not here in this world to feel self satisfied; how can you be when there is so much work to do, when our world is in a mess, when there is so much unhappiness. Don’t say: “but what can I do”, say rather, “Lord, with your help, I can achieve many things; more than I could have ever imagined”.