YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (2)

YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

HOMILY THEME: “The Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of


YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

HOMILY THEME: “The Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.’” (Luke 10:1, 3)

BY: Fr. Robert deLeon, CSC

 

HOMILY: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

In the gospel passage we hear today, Jesus is very intentional about linking the disciples. “The Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.’” (Luke 10:1, 3) Indeed, preaching God’s loving presence to the world is a dangerous endeavor, his first disciples likened to lambs, the hostile world into which they go a pack of savage wolves. It’s a graphic image, but it surely prepares those sent for the hardships to come.

Successors to the first-chosen pairs, so many others have been likewise sent on this same holiest of missions. A perusal of church history reveals now sainted men and women who, together and under divine inspiration, continued the work of the first seventy whom we read about in today’s gospel passage. Who are these mission-paired couples? Some of the better known are these: Saints Benedict and Scholastica, brother and sister founders of the Benedictine Order; Saints Francis and Clare, founders of the Franciscan Order; Saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, reformers of the Carmelite Order; Saints Vincent De Paul and Louise De Marillac, founders the Daughters of Charity.

The list of sainted historical figures could go on for some length, but more relevant to us at present is the question: Who are today’s mission-paired couples? Who are the contemporary disciples sent out by God to deliver the gospel? Of course, they are Christian parents! While the ancient stories of sainted pairs recounted in church history may inspire, it’s the daily witness of parents and their gutsy heroism that remains largely untold.
Rebecca and Dan may never be numbered among the official saints of the church, but weekly did they remind me what a holy calling is parenthood. It was years before I knew they were a married couple as they could never go to Mass together because one or the other was always home caring for their young brood. Then, after one Sunday evening Mass, I met them leaving hand-in-hand, Rebecca giggling that her mother had volunteered to watch the kids so she and Dan could have a night out. And where did they go? To church.

Finally their four girls (all still under the age of 6) began coming to church, though squirmy, whiny and delightfully disruptive to everyone within a range of 5 pews. The whole family, though, dare not yet come together. On Sunday evenings, I’d meet either Rebecca or Dan with two girls in tow, learning that the other parent had taken the remaining girls to an earlier Mass. And through it all these parents just laughed when I commented on their patience.

“The Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.’” (Luke 10:1, 3) Thus, by divine appointment did Rebecca and Dan meet, marry and begin a family. And from what I saw most Sunday evenings, these lamb-like parents were meeting some success in taming four tousle-haired wolf cubs.

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