Homily of July 15 2018, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
The Missionary in the Face of Rejection
In our last Sunday’s gospel we meditated upon the rejection of Jesus by His own townspeople. The first reading of today presents us with the actual rejection of Prophet Amos in these terms ‘Go away, seer’…. The Prophet does not allow this violent refusal of himself to frighten him. He does not suspend his mission because the closed minds of his persecutors cannot block him. He courageously insisted: “‘I was a shepherd, and looked after sycamores: but it was the Lord who took me from herding the flock, and the Lord who said, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”’ Am 7:15
Despite all the rejection Jesus had as portrayed in last the Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 6:6-1) he continues his mission and from among His followers, chooses the Twelve, His band of intimate friends. The Twelve together with the other disciples are Jesus’ true family and community.
The Gospel reading today reading reminds us that Mission is at the heart of the Church. After Jesus chose his disciples, he taught them who he is and what they needed to know. After they had gotten a basic understanding and consciousness of his Mission, he sent them out, giving them authority to preach, heal and act in his name. 
The disciples are sent out into the world to liberate man long held captive by the devil. They would have to preach, cast out demons and heal the sick. They were vulnerable and, like the prophet Amos in our first reading, their message of repentance was their only real resource. If the people showed them hospitality it would mean that they were also receptive to Jesus’ message. If they were rejected, so was Jesus’ message and they had to leave, shaking the dust from their sandals to symbolise their departure from a place where God’s Word was not welcome and provide a clear sign for all to see and understand. Jesus did not let opposition and other setbacks discourage him and neither should we. That is the challenge of today’s gospel.
By virtue of their baptism and confirmation, every Christian is commissioned to a ministry of love and justice We are called today to a serious examination of conscience on the contribution we are making to advance the spread of the Gospel and in preaching salvation from Christ. Let us be bearers of the Gospel, for that is more honour to us than the advantages of being a follower of Christ.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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