Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 11 July 2021

The Sandhurst Church ordained a young man to be a priest today. A very male dominated liturgy; the ceremony was punctuated by numerous issuing of hand sanitiser, no doubt in years to come, such practices will be part of the red print rubrics. Also, face masks. Now there is a challenge for the liturgists. Comment was made, too, on the rather bountiful hugs during the welcoming ‘Sign of Peace’. I hasten to add that the clerical enthusiasm was not repeated later in the Mass. The music was excellent, the Cathedral Choir in good voice (but it is difficult to choir and social distance at the one time).

And then we read the Gospel for this Sunday.

2021 is not 30CE.

Is there anything in the scripture this weekend that might be useful for the community preparing to celebrate a mission experience? Both Amos and Paul remind us that “it was the Lord who took me” as we believe the same Lord took Adi Indri and led him after seven hard years of study to the altar.

Part of that choice had purpose then and now. For Amos to “go, prophesy to your people”, for Paul perhaps put more fulsome “to make us praise the glory of his grace etc.”. In between Amos and Paul we have the Gospel with Jesus telling the disciples to live in community and to form them by their example (travelling light, confronting evil, serving as an agent of God’s healing power and to cast out devils). In latter chapters we will hear their report back.

We are rediscovering the original message that we are all called to mission.

Against this, where do we begin in 2021?

Perhaps a re-examination of all this evidence may give us a path to follow and a blueprint for commissioning.

One hopes this may be part of the work of the Plenary Council.

May we so hope and pray.

Mons Frank