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SEPTEMBER 22. Ord Time B. Wk 25. Wed. Lk 9 1-6

Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let it be from there. As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere.


Today we find Jesus sending out his Apostles to the world to teach, to proclaim and to cure; a mission that continues for the Church today; - “and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal!”


It is very easy to interpret this “sending out” to be the mission of the Pope, the Bishops, the Priests and Religious, a mistaken view that is held by so many Catholics today. However, the Church is not “the Pope, the Bishops the Priests and Religious” but rather “The People of God,” which is all of us; - without exception!


This is a major problem for today’s Church and it leads to mediocrity and a lack of growth as it allows the laity to sit back and look at how bad things are; - because of the failures of the Pope, the Bishops, the Priests and Religious!


This is a grave mistake as even a five-year-old child can understand that the Church is much bigger, and much more than its consecrated personnel!


When Christ sent the Apostles out, he was sending the Church; - which was comprised of thousands of people; - not just twelve Apostles! (Remember the four thousand, and the seven thousand; - who were fed by Jesus on the mountains?)


And the directions given to the twelve were also directions for the laity; - “Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic”; - an instruction which tells us that we must have trust in God as the work of the Church is not a work of sinful human beings alone!


I think when Christians meet Jesus in person, in a few years time, one of the complaints he is going to have is we did not see the growth of the Church as a Mission given to each and every one of us; - and that failure is one that has impacted negatively on the Church down through the centuries.


The Primary force behind the growth of the Church is God himself; - the Holy Trinity; - and it is ridiculous to see its growth as coming about through the work of its sinful members, but all of us have the power to intercede with God to provide the graces necessary for it to grow.


This comes about via the means given to us by Jesus himself; - Prayer, Sacrament, Self-sacrifice, Charity and Devotion to Mary, our Mother, and the Mother of the Church.


It is via these gifts and teachings the Church is meant to grow; - via both a divine and human contribution; - which means we are failing in our God-given mission as Christians if we “sit back and leave the growth of the Church to others”; - rather than getting involved ourselves!


Gospel Acclamation Mk1:15


Alleluia, alleluia!

The kingdom of God is near:

repent and believe the Good News!

Alleluia!


First reading Ezra 9:5-9 ·

'God has not forgotten us in our slavery'


At the evening sacrifice I, Ezra, came out of my stupor and falling on my knees, with my garment and cloak torn, I stretched out my hands to the Lord my God, and said:


‘My God, I am ashamed, I blush to lift my face to you, my God. For our crimes have increased, until they are higher than our heads, and our sin has piled up to heaven. From the days of our ancestors until now our guilt has been great; on account of our crimes we, our kings and our priests, were given into the power of the kings of other countries, given to the sword, to captivity, to pillage and to shame, as is the case today. But now, suddenly, the Lord our God by his favour has left us a remnant and granted us a refuge in his holy place; this is how our God has cheered our eyes and given us a little respite in our slavery. For we are slaves; but God has not forgotten us in our slavery; he has shown us kindness in the eyes of the kings of Persia, obtaining permission for us to rebuild the Temple of our God and restore its ruins, and he has found us safety and shelter in Judah and in Jerusalem.’







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