July 11, 2021 - 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory welling in our land.” Psalm 85:9
by Sister Joseph Fennimore, OSB
I was struck by what is contained in the second reading for today. It is God’s plan of redemption for us, all laid out, and accomplished by his Son, Jesus Christ. This role of Christ is stated several times in this reading from the letter to the Ephesians. It is through Jesus Christ that we go to the Father by being redeemed, by having our sins forgiven, by being open to the grace that is available to us thus becoming adopted children of God. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus continues this work of salvation in us as we follow in his footsteps. It is his Spirit that moves us to seek salvation not only for ourselves but for also for those around us.
In the other two readings, we find examples of being called and sent forth. After instructions to his apostles on how to teach, heal, and travel Jesus sent them forth to carry out his ministry. He also told them that everyone would not accept their message and healing touch. They would experience rejection as he did.
The story of the prophet Amos is also an example of being called, of being sent to preach God’s word, and of being rejected. His call came suddenly. He was taken from his sheep and sycamore trees and sent to the northern kingdom of the Jews, Israel. With no experience of prophesying, he went to this people and pointed out their weaknesses and sins. The people were not open to his God-given message and rejected him. He was strongly told by the priest there to leave, to go back to the southern kingdom where he came from and never to teach in the northern kingdom again. He too was rejected as many of the prophets were.
We too are called, especially through the sacrament of Confirmation, and sent forth to assist others in their search for salvation, in their search for God. We do this in our families, at our work, and in our community activities, wherever we are. Our words and actions too may not be accepted even if we are good followers of Christ.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“If we wish to reach eternal life….we must run and do now what will profit us forever." Prologue, vs. 42a and 44
“May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, That we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call.” Cf. Eph 1:17-18