Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 26, 2024


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R/. Tell among all the peoples the wonders of the Lord.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. The Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money bag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the labourer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

1.      Today, lethargy and compromise are prevailing and reducing the quality of faith, benevolence, and dedication in all spheres of life. Consequently, we do not find many sincere efforts to grow in faith, to do good to others, and to be committed to the right things in life.

2.       Many are so shallow and thus easily waver in their faith. Many are so self-centred and self-interested and thus are indifferent and unkind. Many are so comfort-seeking and compromising and thus are non-committal to a value-life.

3.       It is in this context the Word of God of today, in commemoration of Saints Timothy and Titus is a clear illuminator and indicator for us to renew our lost spirits. Like Timothy and Titus, we are called to preserve and foster a sincere faith by constantly “fanning it into flame” and not allowing it to become tepid.

4.       We are to be people of power and not fear. Our operating principles are love and self-control. The sole purpose and aim is to bear testimony to the Lord. For this, we need to be ready to share in suffering for the sake of the gospel.

5.       It is because we share in the mission of the Lord himself and it is very challenging. We will be like “lambs among the wolves”. Besides, the mission is vast but the missioners are few, as Jesus says, “Harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few”.

6.       It is a mission of spreading the kingdom of God where God’s love, peace, and justice reign. We are called to be lovers and promoters of peace and not division and aggression. We need to give a healing touch to a world that is sick in different ways and forms. Certain stability and consistency is also required as Jesus says, “Remain in the same house… do not go from house to house”.

7.       There is also a sense of “urgency” of the mission. It means that we must be always on wheels, always plunged into action. There is no time to waste, and one cannot procrastinate. Time is short and precious and we cannot afford to lose it in unnecessary niceties and secondary things, as Jesus says, “Greet no one on the road”.

8.       In carrying out such a challenging mission, we must shun every tendency to excessively depend on our own human resources like talent and competence or on worldly securities and guarantees like money, power, and position.

9.       That is why Jesus warns us, “Carry no money bag, no knapsack, no sandals”. It is not that we do not make use of the available resources or equipment. The point is that our greatest resource and equipment is God’s power that sustains, guides, and strengthens us in our mission journey.

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