YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: WANTED: PROPHETS FOR JESUS
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mk. 6:7-13) Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus sent His twelve apostles on a mission not because He was getting tired or lazy. He was also preparing them for their future mission and His leaving them when He sends the Holy Spirit after His Ascension. Jesus called the twelve as soon as He started His ministry. He formed them and made them witnesses to His works and learn from His teachings. It was very consistent with God’s plan of involving us in His work of salvation. He began with the apostles. The apostles shared the mission and formation to the early Christians. The process was repeated from generation to generation. God gave us the message that even if He created us without our consent, He will not save us without our consent.
The First Reading introduced us to this very important role of bringing the Word of God to others. That is the prophet. Amos, a shepherd, was sent to prophesy to God’s people. He was tentative about the mission. But it was the Lord’s will. As Jesus told the apostles in the Gospels, the one sent need not worry what to say. The Spirit of the Father will guide and tell the prophet what to say. The Second Reading reinforced that when Saint Paul told the Ephesians, and all of us for that matter, that we were chosen by God and had been given every spiritual blessing including the gift of prophecy. God has revealed to us the mystery of His will. Yes, a theologian has that expertise in understanding and explaining our doctrine. But our baptism merited for us the gift of prophecy, a responsibility for us to proclaim and witness to the Word of God which had been written in our hearts!
As mentioned above, the same responsibility of being witnesses which was given the apostles was given to us when we were baptized. We received the three-fold function of Jesus as Prophet, Priest, and Pastor or King. At the end of the mass, we are always sent and commanded to give witness to what we have heard and seen. We are our brother’s keepers.
Unfortunately these days, this responsibility is being forgotten, taken for granted, or not known at all. During Baptism, parents and Godparents were given the responsibility to rear the child to be a good follower of Christ. Their task is to hand on the faith which they answered for the child during the baptismal rites. Precisely, the children were baptized though they were not yet capable of faith because the parents and Godparents assumed that task. In turn, the children, when they grow old, should hand on the faith to the next generation. We are all part of that chain.
This Sunday, Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila told priests that the Pastoral Letter released by the bishop days ago may replace the homily. It is an excellent pastoral letter which needs to be read and understood by every baptized. It is very persuasive, self-critical, biblical, and concerned. We are living in difficult times. God, faith, and religion are being questioned. This is not really something new, as the bishops had said. Thus, we need to respond. Our response should a reflection and examination of ourselves. Change begin with the self.
Particularly, how is our prophetic function? Do we live our responsibility, thus keeping the chain of faith connected? We cannot just leave the task to our Church leaders and servants. We are all summoned to be prophets. The world needs the enlightening Word of God. The world cannot be deprived of the Word of God no matter what are the odds, resistances, and rebukes. Jesus faced greater rejections. Yet, He persisted because of His love for us. While He did not leave us, He gave us a task to be prophets in the modern times. We need to proclaim the Word of God in words and in deed. The next generation depends on us. Let us continue the witnessing to the faith. Let us be missionaries to each other.