Homily for Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus is the fullest revelation possible in the human life of God’s tender and merciful love for humankind. Yet, He experienced the turning away of people from this love, their refusal to respond to it in any meaningful way. 

When He sends out His disciples in today’s gospel passage, Jesus warns them to expect the same. They are to proclaim the Good News that the kingdom of God is at hand, the reign of God’s life-giving love, but they will encounter those who will not welcome them and will not listen to what they have to say. This negative response is not to deter them from their mission of proclaiming God’s loving presence by what they say and do. It certainly did not prevent Jesus when He suffered the ultimate rejection on the Cross; He announced the same Good News as Risen LORD to those who had turned away from Him and rejected Him. 

So, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to reveal the loving presence of God, regardless of how others receive us. An essential question for self-reflection, though, when others do not welcome us is this: Is this rejection of the message or rejection of the way the message is delivered and received? In all that we say and do in the name of the LORD, God’s rendered mercies must be evident.+

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