15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 11, 2021

15B21.     Amos 7:12-15.   Amaziah, priest of Bethel, rejects Amos as a prophet.  Nevertheless, Amos declares that, even though he was only a humble shepherd, the Lord said to him, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”  Likewise, Jesus and his followers found that, though chosen by God, they too would be rejected by some.

Mark 6:7-13.  In last Sunday’s gospel Jesus had brought his disciples to his own hometown of Nazareth but was rejected by the people who knew him in the days before he started his public ministry, when he was still just a carpenter.  In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus sent out his Apostles “two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.”  They were to bring almost nothing for their personal physical needs but be dependent on the accommodating hospitality of those who welcomed them.  For those who rejected them, Jesus told them to “shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”  They “preached repentance,” “drove out many demons,” and “anointed with oil many, who were sick, and cured them.”  For using the spiritual power that Jesus gave the Apostles, they were to be justly compensated, “for the laborer deserves his payment.”  (Luke 10:7b)   Those who reject the spiritual grace that God gives in his paternal care will be without any resources whatever after death.

Ephesians 1:3-14.  God the Father chose us “to be holy and without blemish,” that is God chose us to be saints by living our lives in Christ and not as people buried in the ways and spirit of this world.  We were chosen from all eternity to be saints “so that we might exist for the praise of his glory.”  In baptism we “were sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.”  May our lives be living acts of praise and worship of the God who has lavished us with the riches of his infinite love!   Accepting God’s love daily we are rich because of his infinite care for us.