This Sunday’s Readings:
Psalm 123:1–2, 2, 3–4 (℟ 2cd)
2 Corinthians 12:7–10
IF WE’RE IN THIS FOR FAME AND GLORY, then today’s Gospel should set us straight. Earlier in Jesus’s ministry, his family tried an intervention because “he is out of his mind” (Mark 3:21). To that, Jesus promptly redefined his family: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (3:35). At his next visit home after a long stint performing miraculous healings, Jesus’s neighbors feign astonishment, which quickly becomes offense: Just who does he think he is?
We might hear echoes of the times when those closest to us didn’t understand us and even rejected us. Others recall warnings that no matter what people tell us is possible, we can never break free of the circumstances and limitations of the status, race, or ethnicity we are born into. Still others who have tried to have the difficult conversations with family about systemic inequality can feel with Jesus the heartache of wanting to preach God’s radical justice only to be scorned by those we love.
For Jesus and the disciples he sends out in next Sunday’s Gospel—and for us—God’s reign must be preached with persistence, whether it is convenient or inconvenient. That is what prophets do. The prophet’s reward may be faithful hearts, or it may be death. But the prophet’s glory is always in doing the will of God.
In today’s first reading, God is sending a prophet to the “hard of face and obstinate of heart” so “they shall know that a prophet has been among them.” As Christians, we are also called to evangelize the faith. This is not always an easy thing to know how to do, so we turn to the Holy Spirit to guide us in this task. With popular culture many times at odds with the Christian faith, it can seem like we are at a disadvantage. But maybe we need to look at the smaller picture. Is there a person who seems to be “hard of face and obstinate of heart” that we can reach out to in order to ease their pain or their burden? The act of caring for another person is evangelization too. Our faith in Christ leads us to treat those around us as images of Christ. Maybe they in turn will be moved to treat others with this same love and care.
More choral suggestions for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time…
Alabado Sea el Señor: Salmo 29(28) Lorenzo Florián Nueva Jerusalén songbook 012558
Bendeciré Tu Nombre/I Will Praise Your Name: Salmo 145(144) Diego Correa y Damaris Thillet ¡Aclama, Tierra Entera!/Sing All You Lands! bilingual songbook 012637
Done Made My Vow from Four Spirituals arr. Nicholas Palmer SATB a cappella, descant, opt solo 008910
Gusten y Vean/Taste and See: Salmo 34(33) Pedro Rubalcava SATB, Latin descant 012676
I Am the Way Craig Colson Three-part choir, cantor, assembly, guitar, keyboard es08025
I Have Been Anointed Steven C. Warner SATB, solo, assembly, hand drum 007225
I Know Something About God’s Grace Patrick D. Bradley SATB, cantor or solo, assembly, guitar, keyboard 001282
Love Is His Word Luke Connaughton & Calvin Hampton, arr. Richard Proulx SATB, descant, cantor, assembly, flute, organ 008677
One Faith in Christ Laurence Rosania SATB, descant, assembly, opt brass quartet, organ 008735
Our Eyes Are Fixed on the Lord John Karl Hirten SATB, cantor, assembly, organ G-3319