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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

February 14th: 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): After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where he himself was to go. And he said to them, «The har­vest is rich, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. Whatever house you enter, first bless them saying: ‘Peace to this house’. If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house. When they welcome you in any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you’».

«The Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them where he himself was to go»

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

Today, is the feast of saint Cyril and his brother saint Methodious, 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 missionaries 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...

May be we should repeat 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 are our mission and the message we have to deliver on Jesus' behalf? We have to announce the Kingdom and proclaim the Peace: «Whatever house you enter, first bless them saying: ‘Peace to this house’... and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to 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, reflect 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 Methodious recognized that these vocation and mission 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 deed you take pleasure in».

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