We sow the Word of God, without ceasing!
A reflection for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
by Andrés Castillo
In the biblical readings that are proposed to us this Sunday, God reveals the path of the Missionary Disciple. It is a beautiful adventure that is full of joy and blessing, but at the same time a difficult and complex challenge.
In the book of Ezekiel we can find the call, that missionary sending that God proposes to all of us as a path of discipleship. But as we see, it places us within a framework: "I am sending you to that rebellious people" (Ezekiel 2:3). And this framework is far from being a task of correction, but rather, it is a framework of full love, of merciful aching for a people who have not known a true God and therefore miss a great blessing that is yet to come.
The great challenge is that not all those who receive the Word of God can transform their lives. Many continue with their hard hearts and do not want to see the presence of a God who embraces and blesses. Isn't this the carpenter…? (Mark 6:3) But, although this is a concrete reality, God still commands us to take his Word to the most difficult places, trusting that He is the true doer of the work in every heart.
I think of all the people who for a long time have tried, through word, testimony, and prayer, to transform the heart of one of their loved ones – some member of your family, your friend, your co-worker – and they see the days go by and nothing changes. I think of the pain that this generates in our hearts, to see these people far from the embrace of the Father. And at this point we need to ask for the grace of strength, of trust placed in the Will of God for each person, and to know that the Lord of Creation never abandons the work of His hands.
And when we talk about Strength, the Apostle Paul gives us an interesting look at what it means. He presents us with a strength that shows weaknesses, that shows pain and sadness. But in that weakness, in that suffering, God becomes great, He becomes Lord of the situation.
May your pain and your fragility be the presence of God and the beginning of conversion in those for whom you are praying and who do not want to accept the Word in their lives. "My grace is enough for you, since strength is revealed in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). May the Grace of God be the strength you need to continue praying and proclaiming the Word of God to many! Don't stop because God is counting on you!
And finally, I want you to know that no prayer and no evangelizing action is lost. The mission is a response to God's universal call for humanity. This is not exclusive to Paul or Ezekiel; it is for you and me. For all. In this task we discover a Church which goes forth, a Church that goes out to meet the fallen, the wounded, the one who needs the action of the Father in their lives, even when they do not know it consciously. All nature seeks its creator and all human beings seek to return to the arms of their Father. Convinced of this truth, it is our task to pray and to take the Word to every corner.
Today we must be agents of hope in a world that suffers insecurities, fears, and sadness. Today we are light in the middle of the darkness. Today we are an option in a world that only offers individualism and personal ambition. Today we are, like Ezekiel, bearers of the voice of God in the midst of a rebellious people who need the Father to transform their stony hearts into hearts of flesh. Today the sending of the prophet is renewed in our present and hopes that we will be able to say “Yes” to the Will of God.
May Jesus bless your life and give you the strength not to lose heart and be a missionary disciple in a time in history that needs people who can be witnesses of God's Love.
(translated from the original Spanish by Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann)
The readings for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, are
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Andrés Castillo is a communicator, writer, and missionary. After studying publicity and advertising, he dedicated himself to film production and working in the media. He is co-founder of the global network of lay Missionaries Renova+. He is the author of several books about leadership and inspiration, and has proclaimed the Word of God throughout his native Argentina as well as in more than 50 cities and 17 countries around the world. He lives in Buenos Aires with his wife Ludmila and their children, Simón, Benjamín, and Gina. Learn more at www.renovamas.org.