11th Sunday Ordinary Time – 18th June 2023
There are few feelings more uncomfortable than the feeling of being pointless. It’s unsettling because, deep down, we know its not right. We know that human life is not meant to be pointless if you look at the characters that are considered great in any society’s history. They all really have that one thing in common. They were people with a mission. They had a clear idea of what they had to do, and they set themselves to do it.
We feel attracted to those who seem to have been able to see their lives in the light of the bigger picture, those who have gotten beyond just living from day to day, and have managed to give some real direction to their energies. And we feel that somehow we would like to experience that. We would like to be in that position, to have a mission, a purpose, a message.
Well, we are in that position, every one of us. We have been given a message, a message far too big, and far too important to apply simply to each one of us as individuals. We have been given to know some of the most fundamental and basic truths of human nature, and the only way we can respond authentically to those truths is to speak them out clearly and understandably, to pass them on and make them real in the lives of those around us.
The Gospel reading shows that the apostles, those to whom Christ first preached, did not consider themselves any sort of closed community, tightly gathered around the word they had received. Rather, hearing the truth was for them an experience of being sent out, of becoming truly men with a mission. And the first reading, taken from the Old Testament book of Exodus, contains the same idea. It was not enough that the people came to know the fact the God was with them, that they had been saved. The announcement of the truth is followed by a commission, a people sent out to mediate this saving presence of God to the rest of the world.
And this is our mission as well. In every contact with Christ that we experience, in scripture, in sacrament, in prayer, we are being sent out to bring his presence into all areas of life in which he is not yet felt. In jobs, in schools, in politics, in family and community living, this message must constantly be repeated, Christ’s presence constantly renewed.
We have all been sent by Christ. We have been commissioned by his message of salvation, and we have been pointed toward one another. If the words of the Gospel fail to change and improve our society, it won’t be because the message is false. It will be because the message never went out. Fr Andrew