8 July 2007 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 10, 1-9 Being Effective Ministers of the Word of God
Jesus sends a lot of people. He sends the Twelve Apostles. Now, He sends seventy-two others in pairs, as emissaries ahead of him, “in every town and places He intends to visit.” Perhaps to check whether the places will be open to His teachings. If all of us Christians are missioned, what is the best preparation to become effective? How do we come to a total transformation of ourselves?
We want to change. We want to replace old destructive habits of thought with new life-giving habits. We hate to find ourselves easily judgmental, angry and vengeful. We do not like something in ourselves, and we want to get rid of it. We are imprisoned by our fears and anxieties. Many of us may fulfill our church duties, sing our hearts out, pray and live obediently, but we are still unchanged. The Lord said, “the truth will set us free!” Thus, our ecstatic experiences and ‘getting high on Jesus’ will not set us free from these destructive habits of thought, these fears and anxieties. What would set us free is the knowledge of the truth.
Nowhere could we see this knowledge of the truth than in studying. Many of us are hampered and confused because we are ignorant of the truth. How many parishioners in UP decided to attend other masses when they saw dancers? They didn’t know that there is, in Church worship, what we call liturgical dances, and dances have been constitutive of the manner of worship, with no other than King David worshipping God in dance! Ignorance indeed!
How do we study effectively. Just remember two things. First, repetition.
Second, is reflection. Reflection defines the significance of our studying. Why we are studying this? Why is this relevant to my life? By reflecting, we get to see reality in God’s eyes. By reflecting, we get to enjoy studying. Reflection is the best way to love. Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The Brothers Karamazov counsels, “Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the Divine mystery of things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day.”
By studying well, we become great leaders in our fields. St. Ignatius charges all of us Jesuits, not to stop studying. Study till you die. You see, by studying, we become the doctor who could do a successful surgery as well as explaining cancer to a 10-year old. We become the engineer who could build great bridges, as well as, bridge destructive relationships. In the spiritual life, we become effective ministers of God, by responding to His call in whatever manner and whatever way.