Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
The scriptures thrust forward. The scriptures today thrust the gospel forward to all people, to the nations as scripture calls the Gentiles, who peopled the lands beyond Palestine.
St. Paul, with much suffering and a non-violent response--echoing Christ Jesus--persevered so that through [him] the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.
Luke remembered Jesus sent disciples out in pairs to preach the kingdom. They went ahead of him...to every town and place he intended to visit. Once ascended, Jesus’ intention did not diminish or vanish. Once ascended, Jesus relies on us today to carry his gospel of the kingdom through us to every place we find ourselves.
Pope St. Gregory saw the pairs of disciples as Jesus “silently teaching us what we should do. . . .[Jesus] sends out his disciples out two by two, because the precept of charity is twofold--love of God and of one’s neighbor.”1
Love of God and others is reason to preach the gospel. Loving God and others by our lives preaches the gospel more effectively than words.
Speak to Jesus, as one friend to another, in the next several moments. Praise him for embodying the gospel of the kingdom of his Father. Thank him for entrusting it to you. Ask Jesus for the grace you need to day to preach it effectively by the way you live today. When we live as friends of Jesus, we make known reflections of the glorious splendor of [his] kingdom. We preach it without knowing we are bringing others nearer to it and to Jesus.
1. in Homily 17. 1-3 in Office of Readings for St. Luke, Liturgy of the Hours, vol. IV, p. 1495.