In the early 1970’s, in the midst of the Vietnam War, John Lennon and “The Beatles” popularized the image of a world living as one, a world living in peace; it was called, “Imagine.” Today’s readings enflesh this same concept.
Our first reading, from Isaiah calls all to “Rejoice” for the Israelites have been freed from captivity. Some of the images included certainly depict a loving relationship with our creator suggesting a world in which all live in peace, all share as one for “in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.”
Then the responsorial psalm encourages us to “cry out to God with joy.” Today, with our awareness of the unity of creation, we are called to appreciate God’s loving goodness as manifest in the world around us. Surely on any clear, sunny day we are in awe at the beauty surrounding us as we breath in fresh air and bask in the sun!
St. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians indirectly calls all to live as one for Paul asserts we are, “a new creation” united by our faith in the One who saved us. No longer are we distinguished as male or female, Jew or Gentile, but under his words, Paul’s message is one we can apply each day. We are all made in God’s image, so let us recognize God’s presence among us. What a challenge!
Today’s message is driven home in the Gospel where the disciples are appointed (seventy-two and research tells us that equals one for each known nation at the time), and they set out in pairs with careful instructions as to what to carry and how to act. Surely these went off with trepidation, yet with the Spirit encouraging them. In this same passage, we learn these ambassadors returned “rejoicing.” They are reminded to rejoice, not because of their success, but rather because they obeyed and their “names are written in heaven.”
Let each of us step out and do our best to accept all as our equal and together help spread peace and joy in our surroundings.
Sister Miriam Catherine Nevins, OP