Daily Reflection – July 3, 2016
Sunday 3 July 2016
First Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy
Psalm 65(66):1-7, 16, 20
Second Reading: Galatians 6:14-18
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Today’s Note: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”
The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Rejoice because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
Let’s take a moment right now to rejoice. We live in a beautiful world, which God has created. We have been saved by a wonderful God who sent his Son to redeem us. We have the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit to draw us close to God and strengthen our faith. And we have Jesus’ invitation to be with him forever—to have our names “written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Let’s look at three signs that will help us make sure that we are heaven bound.
First is the sign of faith. The gospel tells us, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). Be sure to proclaim your faith in Jesus each day. Tell him that you want to follow him.
Second is a sign of marks. The marks of a Christian include such virtues as kindness, patience, humility, and gentleness. St. Paul calls them “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). When people look at you, what do they see? Are these marks visible? Of course, we all fall short in some way or another, but we ought to be able to say that the virtues are growing, and the vices are diminishing. We don’t have to be perfect; we just have to be on the right path.
The final sign is love. Jesus told us, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). He told us that our “neighbors” are not just the people we like, but even our enemies (Luke 10:27-37; Matthew 5:44). So if we are moving forward in the goal of caring for the poor, forgiving those who have hurt us, and treating everyone with kindness, we can count this as another sign.
Jesus wants all of us to be with him in heaven. To that end, he has died for us; to that end, he has given us his Spirit. Truly, we serve a loving, generous God!
“Jesus, more than anything else, I want to be with you in heaven.”