Fri 13th July 2018
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Ps. 51(50):3-4,8-9,12-13,14,17
Mt. 10:16-23  (Ps Wk II)

The passage in the first reading from the Book of Hosea concludes with an upbeat ending. Although the preceding passages of the book were filled with negative and severe condemnation of the people of Israel for their unfaithfulness, the message today underlines the prophets' strong faith and hope in God as healer and saviour. It is an insight that we find in almost the entire Bible or individual books of the Bible.

The beginning and conclusion generally centre on hope while in between is the superhuman struggle to sustain the ideals set by God in the face of the immense challenges of the world. The sense of hope can also be felt in the Psalm. The palmist struggles with his own sinfulness, but still believes in God’s mercy.

In the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples that they can expect the same treatment that he himself receives. Instead of a mission that is free from conflict and opposition, Jesus prepares them for hostility as they are sent as defenceless creatures among predators. This is why Jesus urges them to be shrewd while retaining their guilelessness. Among the terrors awaiting them is the anxiety with speaking at a public trial, divisions in the family and acts of betrayal.

However, even in face of these impending trials, there is hope. These terrors are outweighed by confidence in the Holy Spirit and in their ultimate vindication when God’s kingdom comes. The readings today remind us that regardless the trials and challenges we may face, God’s love and mercy for us is constant. He never gives up on us!

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness.