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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time- I come to offer peace

The Gospel recounts how Jesus sent messengers in pairs. The first missionaries—Peter and John, Paul and Barnabas did not only go two by two, but they were also sent and  represented their community.
 
They are sent like lambs among wolves. The wolf is a symbol of violence, arrogance. The lamb indicates gentility, weakness and frailty.
 
It is necessary that the disciples be vigilant so that the wolves will not give way to anger, greed, resentment or the desire to dominate. 
 
These feelings lead to the actions of the wolves: the abuse of power, aggression, violence, insults, lies.
 
The history of the Church confirms that, when Christians are transformed into wolves, they have always failed in their mission.
 
The Gospel is good news. Here are the words with which the disciple presents himself: I have come to announce peace; bringing peace to you, to your family, to your home. 
 
This is a proclamation that gives comfort, inspires awe, hope, joy! If among the listeners there is a man of peace, if there is someone willing to open his heart to Christ, peace, fullness of life and good will come down on them.
 
To express his gratitude, one who has heard the announcement could invite the missionary into his home and offer him his bread. 
 
The apostle—Jesus recommends—accepts the invitation, does not broach his claims, is content with frugal food that is set before him and adapts himself to the traditions and customs of the host, without looking askance at his habits and traditions. This was a time when many were hesitant to share meals with the Gentiles (Galatians 2:11-14).
 
The work of evangelisation must be confirmed by concrete gestures of charity: care for the sick, assistance to the poor. 
 
The Gospel can be welcomed, but also refused. God does not get angry, seek revenge, or punish whoever does not accept his word. 
 
He is only goodness and mercy, and loves always. Jesus does speak of God’s punishment to show the disastrous consequences the rejection of the gospel entails. Who does not accept his word becomes responsible for his own unhappiness; he is devoid of peace. 
 
The announcement of the kingdom of God marks the beginning of the fall of the empire of evil. Jesus indicates the ultimate victory of the gospel.
 
Whoever has put his trust in Christ and in his Word has his name written in heaven, that is, has become part of the kingdom of God. This is the reason for the joy he feels and announces to everyone. 
 
Although realistically he admits that  successes are limited and difficult, and that the road is still long, he rejoices because he already foresees the goal.
 
 
 
● Father Fernando Armellini SCJ
   Claretian Publications
   bibleclaret.org
   
Translated by 
Father John Ledesma  
Abridged by Father Thomas Thennedyil cmf