11th Sunday of Ordinary Time – June 18, 2023
Theme: “Go and Proclaim: We Are Called And Empowered”
First Reading: Exodus 19:1-9a
Responsorial Psalm : Psalm 50:1-3,4-6,7,15,16-17,22
Second Reading: Romans 5:1-8
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:1-8
GO AND PROCLAIM: WE ARE CALLED AND EMPOWERED
(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PENALOSA)
Once, there was a story of a dying child who was comforted by his family, especially his father. Throughout their time together, the son observed his father’s calmness and peace, despite their difficult circumstances. In their final conversations, the father asked his son if he was afraid of dying. Surprisingly, the child replied that he wasn’t afraid, as long as God was like his father. Father Jun shared this story to remind us of the profound impact a father’s character can have.
Today, as we celebrate Father’s Day, we are reminded that fathers have a significant role in representing God the Father to their children. Sadly, many young people in our generation struggle because they cannot see the Father’s representation. They lack that picture of who God is. Fatherhood is a vocation; it is a calling.
In our Gospel reading, Jesus called His disciples to come to Him before sending them out for their mission. It is crucial to understand that when God blesses us, those blessings are not meant for our exclusive benefit, but rather for the benefit of others. The same applies to our calling. We are called not only for ourselves but because others need us. This emphasizes that once God pours His grace into our lives, it should be shared and used to serve others. Our mission begins within us, and our calling within the Church starts with our relationship with God. To stay close to Jesus, we need to engage in prayer. However, prayer must be a God-centered dialogue; not a self-centered monologue. Effective service in the church comes from a very good relationship with God. We need to pray, listen, hear, and obey His words. When we are called, God also empowers us. Power flows naturally when we are in a relationship with God and often this power goes with authority. As we come closer to Christ, He gives us the authority to cast demons and heal all sicknesses and diseases.
Our relationship with Christ is a two-way process. We are called, then, we are sent out. He called us first in order for us to be in love with Him so that it would be easy for us to do the mission once sent off. The Gospel will naturally come out from our mouths when we are in love with Christ. Our coming to Christ, our constant talking and listening to God will eventually strengthen our relationship with God. And when our hearts are filled with His goodness, nothing can hinder us from sharing it with others—that is our mission.
However, our mission should begin in our own “Jerusalem.” Father Jun encourages us to start with our families, our friends, and the people who are connected to us. Let us boldly proclaim the goodness of Jesus in our lives. Today’s Gospel reading serves as both an invitation and a challenge for us. Let us respond with confidence, knowing that once God calls us, it becomes a command that will forever change our lives.
MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU
iTunes Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/ph/podcast/cathedral-church-saint-michael/id1139105076