Cycle C Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The first reading from Isaiah tells us that even when things are bad we should rejoice because God will ultimately bring good things. Here the Israelites are given the hope that things their lot improve. This hope is part of what makes our Hebrew traditions special in that we have a God who cares, even in the midst of punishments or external adversities. This sets the groundwork for our hope in the resurrection. We talk of Faith, Hope, and Love. Without Hope where would we be, as Faith and Love alone are not enough. It is Hope that gives us the strength, courage and perseverance to continue forward when all seems lost, when difficulties abound.
Paul in the second reading talks about his boasting in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do we boast of our difficulties? Or do we complain about them? Jesus tells us to pick up our crosses daily. Do we do so joyfully or regretfully? This is connected to the first ready in terms of our Hope. Our hope is that by uniting ourselves to the sufferings of Christ we will rise with him and rejoice with him in heave. If we want the blessing, we need to work through the sufferings. Just as when someone goes through surgery to remove a tumor. It can be a painful experience, yet without such the burden leaves us with no hope for the greater joy that comes from having the tumor gone.
Like the seventy-two in the Gospel, are we sharing with our neighbors, co-workers, friends that “The kingdom of God is at hand for you,” or do we keep to ourselves? After the apostles return rejoicing and Jesus reminds them, “Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” As Christians, our Hope united with our sufferings gives us the assurance of our entry into heaven. How many of us want to get to heaven? Yet how many of us try to avoid the challenges here on earth that help us prepare for heaven. Do we embrace our crosses in hope for things to come? We are not called to rejoice here on eat1h, we hope to rejoice in heaven. But do we share that hope with others? How can heaven be populated if we keep silent?

Author: yuengerwv

Retired Catholic Priest

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