Trust in the Lord

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 66:10-14C

Thus says the LORD: Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her! Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts! For thus says the LORD: Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort. When you see this, your heart shall rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass; the LORD's power shall be known to his servants.

Galatians 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Luke 10:1-12,17-20

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."

For students and parents, the end of June does not only signal the end of a school year and the beginning of summer holidays, more importantly, it is the time of graduation; saying goodbyes to old friends and mentors, and preparing for the next exciting chapter of one’s life journey. While the graduates must learn to venture out from their comfort zone and welcome new experiences, so must their parents or caregivers learn to let go and trust that their children will stand on their own two feet with full confidence rooted in their loving families. This journey will, no doubt, be filled with uncertainties and challenges for both parents and children; however, this is also a necessary and pivotal point where things are just starting to get more interesting, rewarding, joyful, and life-giving.

This Sunday’s readings offer a poignant imagery of trust. Like these graduates and their parents, the seventy individuals commissioned by Jesus to evangelize in “every town and place” must have been filled with doubts; if not outright fear (Lk 10:1). They are told to “carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road” (Lk 10:4). In other words, they are asked to go against human survival instincts and completely entrust themselves in God. Imagine today’s parents saying the same thing to their children before sending them out to the world upon graduation, “carry no iPhone or iPad, no credit card, …”; the panic would have been palpable! Jesus admits that He is sending these men out “like lambs into the midst of wolves”; however, He has already equipped them with the most important tool – “authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy” (Lk 10:3,19). They return “with joy” and proclaim that “even demons submit” to them when they invoke Jesus’ name (Lk 10:17). Indeed, Jesus has never left them throughout their mission. Jesus knows what they’ve accomplished and has “watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning” (Lk 10:18). These disciples, full of joy, peace, and confidence in the Lord, are indeed, ready for whatever challenges that may come as Jesus tells them that their “names are written in heaven” (Lk 10:20).

Isaiah has offered an intimate portrayal of this immense trust: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass” (Is 66:13-14). Isaiah wants to reassure the Israelites that amidst their despair and challenges, a new Jerusalem is upon them; they will be cared for by their God, like a mother caring for her child. God has never abandoned them. Such a powerful affirmation of God’s faithfulness and unconditional love!

Whether you are the graduate or the parent, be not afraid and trust that you have already been equipped with the best possible tools to continue your journey. “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals …”; ask our heavenly Father to “give us this day our daily bread”. Jesus is our most faithful companion on the journey. Your iPhone may tell you how to get to your destination but only God will show you your amazing gifts and the best ways to share them with the world along your journey. May your journey be fruitful, joyful, loving, rewarding, and life-giving; may you “flourish like the grass” under the tender-loving care of our heavenly Father!

Posted: July 7, 2019

Susanna Mak

Susanna深信,信仰需要在日常生活中顯露出來,尤其是當與別人相處時,需要分擔對方所面對的困境、抉擇和挑戰。她有着很多不同的身份:女兒、姐姐、朋友、姨姨、妻子、老師、校牧、終身學習者和偶爾替《生命恩泉》寫作的作者。在每一個身份當中, 她努力為天主的愛和希望作見証。 她在多倫多擔任高中教師近二十年,擁有英語、學生讀寫能力、青年領袖活動、校牧組等經驗。 她是多倫多大學商業和英語學士,教育學士,亞省Athabasca大學綜合研究碩士,以及擁有多倫多大學Regis學院神學研究碩士證書。她對於成為《生命恩泉》寫作團隊的一份子, 深感榮幸。 Susanna has a deep conviction that faith needs to be manifested in daily life, particularly, in one’s encounters with others as well as amidst dilemmas, choices, and challenges. She strives to be a living sign of God’s love and hope as a daughter, sister, friend, aunt, wife, teacher, chaplain, life-long learner, and occasional writer for FLL. She has been a high school teacher in Toronto for almost 20 years, with experiences in English and literacy, youth leadership initiatives, the Chaplaincy Team, to mention a few. She has a B. Comm, B.A. in English, and a B. Education from University of Toronto, an M.A. in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University, and a Graduate Certificate of Theological Studies from Regis College, U of T. She is humbled by the opportunity to be part of the FLL Writing Team.

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