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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

February 14th: Memorial of Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop, patron saints of Europe
1st Reading (Acts 13:46-49): Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth." The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region.
Responsorial Psalm: 116
R/. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples!

For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt Lk 4:18): Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 10:1-9): The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.

Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”

“The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit”

Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, is the feast of Saint Cyril and his brother Saint Methodius, patrons of Europe. They were missionaries who evangelized a great part of the European geography. They prepared liturgical texts in Slavonic language, written in an alphabet that, later on, would be called “Cyrillic”.

The Gospel connects with these two great missionaries, because Jesus —sent by the Father and the Holy Spirit— also formed missionary disciples around Him and sent them. He sent the twelve apostles and the seventy-two disciples. The former could represent the priests consecrated to God by their religious vows. But, who would other seventy-two disciples be? Just all of us, Christians. Jesus sends us all. Each one of us is an envoy, his missionary...

Maybe we should repeat to ourselves more often that Jesus is sending each one of us (whether belonging to the twelve or to the seventy-two), to the specific mission He has charged us with.

Which is our mission and the message we have to deliver on Jesus' behalf? We have to announce the Kingdom and proclaim the Peace: Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household’... and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’” (Lk 10:5-9). Saint Francis of Assisi condensed it in just two words: “‘Pax et Bonum’; Peace and All Good!” But, when can we become missionaries? When our life at home, at work and everywhere else, reflects the peace and uprightness of a reconciled heart. It is a testimony we have to provide, at times with words, but always with our Christian example.

Saints Cyril and Methodius recognized that these vocations and missions are nothing but a gift from God. Cyril expressed it by praying: “Yours is the gift whereby you have sent us to preach the Gospel of Christ, and to promote those good deeds you take pleasure in.”

If only through the mediation of the Patrons of Europe, we could be the faithful missionaries of Christ...!