Homily – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

‘Peace to your house’

This week, 51 bodies were found in a truck container due to the immigration crisis in Texas, US.  This week, there were more rockets launched in Russia and Ukraine, landing on innocent people in both countries.  This week, there were, and are, more and more Australians desperately trying to find a bed, a home to sleep in this winter during this economic inflation crisis.  These are the tip of the iceberg that we are hearing or experiencing in this modern world.  How could these people experience ‘peace to your house’ from the Gospel this weekend? 

The gospel is challenging us with the reality of our lives and with what Jesus wants us to do.  The gospel says this: “The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs…” then “Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!””  In other words, our Lord would like us to go and bring peace to the world.  Who does not want to see peace in Ukraine?  Who does not want to see 51 immigrants arrive safely at their destination, rather than their bodies being found in a container?  Who does not want to bring comfort to the homeless and outcasts of our own country?  But the big question is, how can we bring peace and comfort to people with our human limitations?  Or is it easy to do this task without any difficulties?

The answer is very straightforward – we cannot do it ourselves, we cannot stop the war immediately, we cannot rescue people, we cannot give shelter to everyone.  However, we do allow ourselves to feel helpless with those situations or whatever the world presents in front of us; but we must never stop hoping that our world will get better and in that right moment, we should allow God to be the driven source of our lives.  Jesus reminds his followers that it is not an easy task to bring the message of peace to everyone, because there will be people that do not accept them.  As he says “but whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you.””

Having experienced those difficulties, it does not mean to scare us in our way of reaching out to others.  Moreover, it provides us with more opportunities that during those challenging times, the church needs to go out more than ever and touch the people’s life with God’s peace.  As Pope Francis works extremely hard to bring the Church out to people.  As he reminds us that ‘the Church is faithful to her Master to the extent that she is a Church that ‘goes forth’, a Church that is less concerned about herself, her structures and successes, more about her ability to go out and meet God’s children wherever they are.  The Church is called to follow this way of being and acting.  She is meant to be a Church that evangelizes, goes out to encounter humanity, proclaims the liberating word of the Gospel, heals people’s spiritual and physical wounds with the grace of God, and offers relief to the poor and the suffering.’  

Let us experience the message of ‘peace to your house’ this week and bring that peace to wherever you go with a smile or to whoever you meet next week.  Let us make peace settling in our family and friend circle first and then spreading that peace to the rest of the world. 

By Fr Trac Nguyen




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