Best Catholic Reflections July 10, 2024


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Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection July 10, 2024

R/. Constantly seek the Lord’s face.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Jesus called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

1.      Jesus initiates the “kingdom drive”. He drills into every open soul the power of God’s reign of love, justice, and fidelity. That is why, he preaches about the kingdom of heaven; drives away the evil spirits; and heals every sick and troubled. He truly strives to bring the “Kingdom of God close at hand”.

2.      This mission of the kingdom is not his private affair or a solo show. He makes his disciples his partners and collaborators. So, he calls them by name. Thereby it becomes clear that this vocation and mission are not things in a group or crowd. I may belong to a group and come from there. But once called and commissioned, I cannot cling to my earth-bound belongings.

3.      I belong to the Lord and am bound to his mission. I cease to be bound to any particular group or be directed by any group interests. I am responsible to the Lord and not to the petty groups. Naming each apostle is a clear indicator that each one is personally unique to the Lord and also responsible for his vocation and mission.

4.      A true disciple and apostle shoulders the same mission of the Lord, namely, to bring the kingdom near to the people. It is to eradicate the estrangement from the kingdom. It is to make all “inhabitants and heirs of the kingdom” in a world where God’s reign has become an abstract and distant reality in the life of many.

5.      In the light of Jesus’ words, many live like “lost sheep”. They forget the right way. They get deviated from the wrong ways of pleasure and falsity. In the light of the first reading from Hosea, this is to demolish all the “altars’, erected to the false idols, so well-adorned, beautiful, and attractive. The more God prospered Israel, the more they turned away from Him.

6.      “The more their fruit increased, the more altars they built”. “Their heart is false”. “They do not fear the Lord”. The present society is no different. The more comforts increase, the more uncomfortable they feel with the Lord. The more abundance of material things they enjoy, the more they suffer from the emptiness of life.

7.      Thus, the mission is to re-establish the kingdom where the unclean spirits are expelled, and every disease and affliction is healed. It is to “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up the fallow ground … to seek the Lord”.

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