Thursday, 2 July 2015

12/7/15 Take nothing for the journey.

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Statue of St Benedict at Ampleforth Abbey

This week a little liturgy focusses on discipleship and hospitality.  These themes were prompted by the today's gospel and the celebration of the feast of St Benedict yesterday.  If you are new, click on "Introducing a little liturgy" to find out more.  N.B. this post is a week early - if you are looking for resources for 14th Sunday in Ordinary time, please scroll down.

Summary of Liturgy of the Word

First Reading
Amos 7:12-15
The priest, Amaziah rejects the prophet Amos and tells him to leave the area.  However, Amos says that he was chosen by God and left his job as a shepherd when God said, "Go, prophesy to my people Israel.  

Psalm 84
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help.  

Second Reading
Ephesians 1:3-14
St Paul tells us that we are blessed and that we should become God's adopted children.  He also reminds us that Jesus shed his blood so that we may be free. 
Mark 6:7-13
This week we see Jesus sending his disciples out in pairs to preach repentance for sins and heal their problems.  He said that they would not need money or possessions but that they were to rely on the hospitality of others.  


Last week we heard that Jesus was rejected in his own homeland and today we see an Old Testament prophet, "Amos", being rejected by a local priest.   In the Gospel, Jesus advises the disciples to walk away from those who will not listen and "shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them."  

It is not always easy to preach God's word and it is not always easy to accept it.  Jesus tells his disciples to accept hospitality and "take nothing for the journey except a staff".  He knows that their job will not be easy but wants them to trust in God to provide shelter and people who will listen.  

As a young nobleman, St Benedict was disgusted by the way the rich lived and were obsessed with possessions.  When he wrote the rules for his monastery he said, "All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ".   Today, Benedictine monasteries still have guesthouses and welcome people from all walks of life.  

Activity during Homily

When we say that we believe in Christ we are welcoming him into our lives and offering him hospitality.  We do not want him to walk away disappointed.  

When a friend visits us:

1.  We greet them 
2.  We apologise if we have upset them
3.  We listen to what they have to say
4.  We share a meal
5.  We honour them
6.  We say thank you

The experience of being in church for Mass is rather like offering hospitality to Christ.  He is bringing us great news and gifts.  We offer him hospitality in our lives and we are able to do this in a special way through the Mass.  

See if you can link the parts of the Mass below to the actions above:

A.  The Gloria
B.  The Introductory Rite
C.  The Liturgy of the Word
D.  Prayers after Communion
E.  The Confiteor (I confess...)
F.  Holy Communion

When we receive Holy Communion we are united to Christ in a very close way.  Look at the prayer below:

"Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."  This is said before communion and acknowledges that our hospitality is not always good but that we trust in God. (Link to story of centurion below.)   

Even the apostle were not always good at offering Christ hospitality.  They sometimes lacked understanding, were afraid, fell asleep or even denied that they knew Jesus.  Make a list of things in your life that make it difficult for you to offer Christ hospitality. 

Other activities and resources

Click here to find out more about St Benedict.  And here to watch an informative youtube video.

You might also like to listen to some modern Benedictine monks at prayer here.

Read more about the Gospel story of the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant - you can find it in St Matthew's Gospel, Chp.8.  

I hope you have found something helpful this week.  

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