Sent by God to tell the Good News
A reflection on the readings for the principal service for the Sunday between 10th and 16th July, Year B.
Chosen to Be Truly Rich and Sent to Share The Wealth
The readings today remind us that we, just like the apostles and prophets, have been chosen and sent into the world to share the Gospel. One way in which we share the Gospel is through spiritual poverty, which puts the goods of this world into perspective.
In the Old Testament reading the prophet Amos is accused by the priest in charge of the shrine at Bethel of propyesying as a scam to get food. Amos responds that he owned a flock and sycamore trees: he had both property and possessions and was not a beggar being creative to get food. Amos was a prophet because the Lord chose him and sent him to prophesy, and like the Apostles that we heard about last week, being a prophet doesn’t involve being well equipped or focused on making a living. Amos was chosen to be a prophet and leave his possessions behind. He may have been mistaken for a beggar, but he had everything he needed to accomplish his mission.
In the Epistle today, St Paul teaches that we were not chosen to becoem rich in the material sense of the word, but to be holy and blameless before God the Father, thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Only a worldly person sees a holy person as poor just because they are not swayed or burdened by material well-being. The Lord lavishes spiritual treasures on the holy: the second chance of the Redemption after the Fall; the call to become His adopted children; forgiveness for our sins; and the gift of the Holy Spirit. In choosing us, He has also revealed His plan of salvation and our part in it. When we accept His calling, we receive all of these treasures, and also the opportunity to help others to receive them too.
Holiness is the ultimate happiness, even if it seems toguh at times. A great peace comes from having our sins forgiven, making us blameless before our Heavenly Father. Let us thank Our Lord today for all the spiritual wealth He has lavished upon us, and ask Him to show us, in the light of those spiritual treasures, what things we need, what things we do not, and how we can best share them with others.
St Francis of Assisi’s pillow
If we were to travel to the Franciscan monastery of Greccio in Italy, we would find the preserved sleeping quarters of St Francis of Assisi. Arriving there, we would find the tiny cell in whic St Francis slept, but we would find no bed as we would know it. No, we would find bare rock; St Francis slept on a bare rock. At one point during his life, a friend gave him a feather pillow on which to sleep but it made it impossible for him to sleep.
How much time do we spend each week in spiritual activities? Sunday morning worship be in the Eucharist or Morning Prayer? Perhaps we have some family prayer time? Do we say Grace at meal times? Do we read from Scripture?
How much time do we spend each week in parish activities and outreach besides our regular Sunday morning worship?
We all have been chosen by God, whether we let ourselve be sent or not. Get sent. The more that we explore the spiritual treasures of the Faith in our own life, the more we’ll feel the need to share them with the world around us.