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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
>>A very common word between that first reading that we heard and the gospel, if I had to put it together in one word the word would be ‘mission.’ ‘Mission’ is a powerful word. ‘Mission’ evokes going forward.
You know, at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls I gather with our senior management about every two years simply to review our mission statement.
What is this mission 134 years all about? And are we being faithful to that mission? We review it. We talk about it. If necessary, we make little tweaks in it.
But if I were to wheedle down our mission statement to a few words it would be this: To care with kindness and compassion, to those young people who are entrusted to our care. Our mission is to care for these children and at times for extended family members. Be clear about your mission.
Amos was called a prophet and yet he denies that in the first reading. He says, “I’m no prophet.” And there’s a reason he says that, he knows what happens to the prophets. They get rejected. They get beaten. They get stoned and sometimes they get killed. He doesn’t want to be a prophet, but he is.
He says, “I am a dresser of sycamore trees.” A very curious little phrase. What the dressers of sycamore trees did, is they carried a big bamboo pole and they would go around to the sycamore trees that would bear fruit. The sycamore trees would get bugs on the fruit and the role of the dresser of the sycamore tree was to take the bamboo pole and to beat the trees to get all the bugs out. So that the fruit might be good and endure.
Amos is a prophet. He is a dresser of sycamore trees. He really does go about, as it were and he beats the people by telling them to repent – figuratively, not physically. “Repent! Turn away from sin.” “Return to God.” “Bear good fruit with your life.” Is his mission.
In the gospel today, Jesus sends His apostles on a mission. He sends them two by two, so that they’re not alone. So that they can support one another in the journey. Because at times the mission, the journey, is difficult as we all know.
He tells them not to be incombered. “Don’t be distracted by things, but remain committed to the mission.” Which is to go out and to proclaim the good news. To invite those to draw closer to the experience of the Lord of life in their own lives.
They demonstrate that the kingdom is at hand – by praying with folks, by healing folks, by bringing a message of good news to the people.
We too, as the baptized have been called to a mission in life. To give our time and our talents. To give what God has given to us as gift, give to others. To proclaim the good news. Not just with words, but with what we do. Making better this world in which we live.
You can now enjoy Sunday Mass at Mercy Home’s homily in podcast form: