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January 30, 2015

 

The Third Sunday brought us a great theme yesterday – “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mk 1: 17).  Mark gets right to the point, doesn’t he?  First Chapter; here we go – and action!

Now, with our Feast today, our Scripture today gives us a glimpse into the future of this Church.  We talk about the New Evangelization, well, the Lord started it early.  It is done in stages, first local, then throughout the Nation, then –with Saint Paul – setting up Churches in the Lands of the Gentiles.  In the first reading of Titus, we are given some specific initial guidelines for the presbyters who are to shepherd us. The priesthood.  And in his Gospel, Luke writes very specifically here as well.  Neither reading is particularly long, but they carry much information to digest and think over.

For me, I see very familiar patterns here.  The disciples were instructed to go out – in pairs – as laborers to be sent ahead into every town and place.  First Judea and Israel, then Samaria, then Eurasia, and finally the world.  This is our entry procession.

Next, they were sent out in pairs maybe so that they could encourage one another, and to demonstrate their own interactions with one another as Church in deed and in teaching the Word.  This is the Liturgy of the Word.

Next, they were not to carry a money bag or purse; that they were to rely on the generosity of others.  This is the Offering of Gifts.

They were warned that they were being sent out like lambs among wolves.  Perhaps Luke is giving us an insight to later – that Jesus would certainly be pursued and hunted and in the end be slain.  The table will be set indeed, with a sacrifice – the consecrated sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

They were to greet households with a very specific greeting – a sign of peace.  Maybe, being examples – a sign – of peace to each other, they would, in turn, inspire and provide a tranquility to these domestic Churches.  A Sign of the Lord’s Peace.

And it is certainly interesting that this Gospel emphasizes – twice – to, “eat what is set before you”; to take and eat – this IS my body.  The Communion Rite.  And this is a precursor to the abandoning of rigid dietary laws, for the one food, the one law transformed – Jesus the Christ.

In what adds up to nine short verses, Luke explains the Mass.

Perhaps, it is just me, and in my prayer, I have over simplified.  But mother Church has set structure into our worship for a purpose.  We are about to receive Holy Communion.  We unite ourselves to the sacrifice of Christ.  Mass was celebrated here Sunday, and bread was consecrated for us.  Let us therefore unite ourselves to the offering of Christ and His Church.  And perhaps it is as simple as reading for ourselves.  Not to interpret for ourselves.  Not to understand wrongly, in error, and heresy.  But to go to the next step: go to the Church and find the answer.  Pursue the Magisterium with the question, and receive an education, so that we, too, can go forth, and greet others in peace.

 

Peace,

Papa

 

Readings for January 26, 2015; Third Monday of Ordinary Time; Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops

First Reading: Tit 1:1-9.  Appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 96:3 – R.  Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-9.  The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.

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