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12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
This Sunday, the second reading will be from 2 Corinthians 5:14-17. I would recommend reading verses 11-21, and also the other readings for this week. It's Lectionary # 95, if you're reading from a hard copy.
The first reading and Gospel speak of God’s mastery over the sea. He set their boundaries when he made them, and he can speak a word to calm a mighty storm at sea. Clearly, his power is great, and greater still is his love for us.
We know this because out of his great love for us, when Adam and Eve disobeyed him, he began to reveal his plan to reconcile them (and us) to himself almost immediately.
In the fullness of time he sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die, that through Christ, the world might be reconciled to him.
Since we are among those who are already being reconciled, and because we know Christ’s great love for us, it is natural that we desire to serve - to act on the great mission that he gave to the Church.
This great mission is to bring all to be reconciled to God, thorough Jesus Christ, so that God might make his appeal to them, through us.
It is a great and humbling mission - so great that twenty centuries later, there are still people who have not heard of Jesus.
If God is so mighty that he can set the boundary of the sea, and can calm mighty storms with a word, wouldn’t it have been more efficient to do it himself?
Sure. Anything we can do, he can do better. So why use us clowns?
In short: this is the way he chooses to do it.
He surely was not obliged to use us for this great mission, but he chose to, and it is good for us that he did. It gives us an important role to play in salvation.
Of course, we could not do it apart from his grace, but our cooperation in this great mission gives our actions meaning in the history of the universe. If our actions (our “works” as it were) mean nothing, it is easy to fall into either laziness or despair, neither of which are spiritually good places to be.
It is much better, for our sake that we be industrious and hopeful - because our lives, and the actions we take in them are important, and they do have meaning.
God, Our Father, like a good father looks after the growth of his children by giving them responsibilities as they mature, so, too, you have given us responsibilities as we have matured enough to take them on. Help us not to be daunted by the magnitude of the mission you give your church; help us to take courage, because you are with us.