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Scripture Reflections - July 7
14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Isaiah 66:10-14c
Galatians 6:14-18
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

This weekend’s celebrations of our beginnings as a nation stir our hearts to renewed loyalty to our beloved country. Yet this nation is now in the throes of a huge debate about policies concerning immigrants. Our borders once offered hope and hospitality to the stranger. No more! The torch of Lady Liberty in New York harbor is as much a warning fire as it is a beacon of hope. At the same time, the number of displaced peoples in the world has reached 20 million. How much of our freedom are we willing to share?

The Scripture readings for this Sunday offer food for reflection, and God’s recipe for peace. Beginning with Isaiah, we hear that the Lord offers a future of peace and prosperity to Israel following the Babylonian captivity. “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.”

In the Gospel, Jesus and His apostles and disciples are on the way to Jerusalem to fulfill this ancient prophecy, In every village and hamlet, they preach the Good News, heal the sick and drive out demons. Jesus has instructed them to travel very light, relying on the common people to feed and protect them. They are not to take staff or traveling bag. Unfortunately, Jerusalem rejects the message, puts the Son of God to death, and seals its own fate, not the peace of Jerusalem, but its eventual destruction in the year 70! No wonder that, when Jesus arrives, He weeps over the city’s rejection, again using the image of God as tender-hearted mother.

Our late Holy Father, John Paul II, reminded us that peace begins in the human heart. Peace will only come from those whose hearts are filled with God’s love, and obedience to His plan for the world. At the same time, Paul reminds us in the second reading, that the disciple must be prepared for rejection, bearing the marks of the Cross in his or her own body.

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