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14th Sunday Year C

Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20

Celebrating true friendship in our lives. 'We are friends’ from ‘A Collection of his Songs’ is our song of the week.

I was chaplain at De La Salle, College in Mangere, when I wrote this song.

I know how important ‘friendship’ is for young people and how important it is for all of us.

Who are the people you feel comfortable with and receive support and encouragement from in your journey of faith?

We all need the support of friends, ones that are on our side, ones that can challenge us in love and ones that can call us out of our comfort zone.

Jesus sent out the 72 in pairs to prepare the ground for him and his ministry. Of course, some of the people accepted them, others didn’t. However, Jesus saw the need for his disciples to have the support of a fellow companion to reflect with, to share with, to be a sounding board, to provide a different perspective. We are very fortunate to have such people in our lives. I am very grateful to be living in a Marist community to be able to share and to discuss my life and ministry.

Today’s Gospel is talking about mission.

We are sent out from every Eucharist into the world. We carry a message of peace. Jesus wants that to be our first word. We announce at the end of every Mass, ‘Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord’ or ‘Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life’.

In former times many missionaries set out with pre-conceived ideas about what the people needed. In today’s world things are slightly more enlightened. It is not about telling the people what they need and giving them the whole package but about discovering where God is at work in their lives. This is certainly true when we encounter different human cultures and other religious traditions. It is important for us to look, listen and learn from the people with whom we share the Good News.

It is for us to seek the good wherever God has planted it. We have a lot to learn from people who are different from us, respecting their culture and sincere beliefs, even as we announce the Kingdom.

Christ, the word made flesh, is the language of God’s friendship that each of us is called to speak. Unity and understanding are founded on our ability to talk with each other. Encounters with those who are different from ourselves can change how we speak of them and influence how we understand ourselves. It purifies the language of fear and exclusion and edges us towards the spaciousness of Christ. We cross boundaries and make friends.

The Lord appointed 72 others and sent them out in pairs. He sends us out with our gifts and insights gained through experience. We are not alone.

Listen to track 14 'We are friends’ from ‘A Collection of his Songs’.

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