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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, July 15, 2012

By Sharon K. Perkins
Catholic News Service

July 15, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Amos 7:12-15

Psalm 85:9-14

2) Ephesians 1:3-14

Gospel: Mark 6:7-13

In 1939, as Great Britain was entering World War II, an anxious monarch delivered an unlikely address to his subjects via radio broadcast. That monarch -- King George VI -- had suffered from a debilitating stammer all his life and had no desire to be in the public eye.

Nonetheless, the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936 thrust his younger brother "Bertie" into the limelight and into a position that he had not sought but for which he was ultimately well-suited, despite (or perhaps because of) his stammer.

As a wartime leader, the king inspired a nation facing great adversity through the example of his own courageous personal struggle.

In a similar vein, Amos did not expect to be a prophet at all. He was a "shepherd and a dresser of sycamores" whom God called away to the land of Judah in order to deliver a scathing indictment against the peoples' chronic injustices. This untutored shepherd, sharing no company with the professional prophets of his time, was an unlikely choice -- yet when he made himself available, the Lord provided all the resources needed to fulfill his prophetic mission.

When Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs as itinerant preachers, they probably doubted that they could accomplish what was asked of them with so little preparation or so few supplies. Surely a walking stick and a single tunic couldn't be considered much in the way of sustenance. But when Jesus' followers set forth, despite their misgivings, they "drove out many demons" and "anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them."

Each of us is chosen, by virtue of our baptism, to take the "good news" of Jesus Christ into our particular spheres of influence. This is what is meant by evangelization. Most of us consider ourselves ill-equipped or unprepared for such a mission and are tempted to relegate it to someone else. But we're more prepared and better equipped than we think, having been given "every spiritual blessing in the heavens."

St. Paul assures us that it is the Lord who accomplishes all these things according to the intention of his will. We simply have to make ourselves available.


What misgivings or anxieties do you have about answering Christ's call to evangelize? How can you make yourself available this week to share the good news within your sphere of influence?


"In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will." -- Ephesians 1:11


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