July 3rd 2022

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Contents:

  1. Parish Bulletin for Holy Family
  2. Newsletter for St Benedict's
  3. This Sunday's Readings
  4. Sunday Reflection
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This Sunday's Readings

First reading          Isaiah 66:10-14 

Towards Jerusalem I send flowing peace, like a river

Rejoice, Jerusalem,
be glad for her, all you who love her!
Rejoice, rejoice for her,
all you who mourned her!

That you may be suckled, filled,
from her consoling breast,
that you may savour with delight
her glorious breasts.
For thus says the Lord:

Now towards her I send flowing
peace, like a river,
and like a stream in spate
the glory of the nations.

At her breast will her nurslings be carried
and fondled in her lap.
Like a son comforted by his mother
will I comfort you.
And by Jerusalem you will be comforted.

At the sight your heart will rejoice,
and your bones flourish like the grass.
To his servants the Lord will reveal his hand.


Second reading         Galatians 6:14-18 

The marks on my body are those of Jesus

The only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.

I want no more trouble from anybody after this; the marks on my body are those of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.



Gospel Reading            Luke 10:1-12,17-20 

Your peace will rest on that man

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road.

'Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, "Peace to this house!" And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house.

'Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, "The kingdom of God is very near to you." But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, "We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near." I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.'

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. 'Lord,' they said 'even the devils submit to us when we use your name.' He said to them, 'I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.'


Sunday Reflection Fourteenth Sunday of the Year July 03, 2022

The Church, as explained by the Second Vatican Council, is by her very nature missionary, since according to the plan of the Father, she has her origin in the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize and never be closed in on herself. She is rooted in specific places in order to go beyond them. Her action, in adherence to Christ's word and under the influence of his grace and his charity, is fully and currently present to all people and all peoples, to lead them to faith in Christ. The Gospel of today tells us that Jesus summoned his seventy committed people and sent them two by two to communicate God's love, to bind up wounds, and to be peacemakers in a troubled world. Jesus calls each to be ready for the mission, to leave behind the luggage, and set out with hearts fully attuned to his call.

The First Reading from the Book of Isaiah the Prophet sees many blessings in store for the people. They will know the joy of being God's special people. The prophet sees the blessing in store for his people. They will know the joy of being God's special people. The prophet joyfully announces the transformation that has taken place in the royal city of Jerusalem. Now the city is secure with plenty of things that make life worth living, abundant like a river of water flowing through the streets. Jerusalem's future is full of life and promise.

In today's Second Reading taken from the Letter to the Galatians Paul tells the Christian community that in order to bring God's reign into our personal world, we must boast of nothing other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cross of the Lord means the whole Christ event. He expresses with joyful pride what Christ crucified has done to him. He tells them that whosoever has to boast must boast in the Lord." Paul is happy to explain to them the marks of Jesus branded on his body and he has been carrying them.

Today's Gospel the reading tells us of the missionary journey of the disciples. The persons who had lived with Jesus and understood his mission and his work now go out to continue his mission. Luke tells us that Jesus appointed seventy disciples or seventy-two and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. Some think this has a symbolic reference to the seventy nations descended from Noah described in Genesis chapter ten. Most probably it reflects the time of Luke's community and sets forth the outline form, expected of a missionary. The disciples go in pairs and not as isolated individuals. The number two also adds to the witness value required in the testimony of two people. The disciples are called to demonstrate, in every aspect of their lives, the love they bring to the world.

Jesus tells them that there is seriousness about seeking and spreading the message of peace. He tells them not to indulge in distractions but get on with their work. Jesus recommends his disciples as they go on their mission, not to weigh themselves down with all kinds of bags and baggage. Their security is not in material possessions, such as money, property, protection, and comfort. His advice is that the missionaries as they go to proclaim peace and kingdom take no walking staff, or a travelling bag or sandals, but trust fully in the divine providence. Their security comes from deep within, security that no one or no circumstance can take away from them.

The work of the disciples is not going to be easy as they will be required to enter very precarious situations with absolute minimum equipment. They will be like lambs being sent out to work among wolves. The urgency of the mission is captured by the mandate that they go in poverty and emptiness and not greet anyone on the way, something that would appear very strange in a culture dominated by gestures of hospitality. The core of their message must be peace. It includes three things: first, they have to establish a community, a community of love. Second, they are called upon to heal those who are sick. Thirdly, they are to announce that the kingdom of God is close at hand. Their mission was to proclaim Jesus in their mission.

The mission was dangerous and difficult, yet indeed challenging to the disciples. The seventy-two returned with joy and their hearts filled with thanksgiving, rejoicing and excited. They discovered they could do the same things that Jesus was doing. They could do the healing, drive away demons and even bring the dead to life. They were the extension of Jesus in every possible way. Their life was transformed with the mission given to them. They tell Jesus that even the demons submitted themselves to them in His Name. Jesus declares that the success of the disciples demonstrates that the kingdom of God is winning out over the power of Satan.

Jesus tells them to inform people that the Kingdom is close at hand and immediate. There is a sense of urgency in the invitation to the kingdom. There is a single-hearted purpose in accepting this invite and hence he tells them that nothing should hinder them: no purse or haversacks or tunic or sandals or money purse. They are to be empty before God and seek him alone among the people.

One word that occurs and is repeated in all three readings today is "peace". Peace is not merely the absence of war or maintaining a balance of power between adversaries. It is the tranquillity of order, it is the effect of justice and it is the effect of charity. Isaiah, in the First Reading, speaks of God sending "flowing peace, like a river". Paul speaks of the peace and mercy that come to all who become that transformed person in Jesus Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus sends his disciples as lambs in the midst of wolves and tells them to proclaim peace and to bring peace with them to every house they enter. This peace is not dependent on outside circumstances. It can exist even when we are surrounded by storms. It is the peace Jesus experienced on the cross in the midst of sufferings.

Like those seventy-two persons we too are called to proclaim that the kingdom of God is at hand and this has to be proclaimed through our lives. It is still possible for us to do it even after two thousand years through our simple acts of caring and our personal ability. It is necessary for us to lend a listening ear to the sick and lonely, helpless and elderly and give them that consolation and healing. The call of Jesus continues to come to us even today in our world. We have to give them the peace of Jesus. The love of God must not make us forget his justice and his rigour. Let us always remember that the mercy of God cannot to be separated from his justice.

Many years ago, when a social worker worked as a volunteer at a hospital, he got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. All saw him hesitate a moment before saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, his sister and smiled, as all did, seeing the colour returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I die right away doctor?" The doctor with a smile said that he will not die but save his sister. A sacrifice..

There was a tightrope walker, who was so good that he could walk between two twenty stories building on a tight rope with a balancing pole. Thousands of people would watch him perform his breath taking feat. After this he would have his assistant sit on his shoulder and he would proceed to walk across the building. Everybody was amazed and gave him thunderous applause. He asked them whether they believed in him. The crowd said, "Yes, it was wonderful!" then he asked for a volunteer to sit on his shoulder. With that the crowd became silent. This story clearly illustrates the difference between belief and having faith. Jesus built faith in people



Fr. Eugene Lobo S.J. Shimoga, India