Suy Niệm – Chúa Nhật 14 Thường Niên – July 07 – Năm C

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Suy niệm: Đức Giêsu bị người đồng hương chối từ. Mặc dù họ kinh ngạc, thán phục sự khôn ngoan của Ngài. Nhưng họ không tin Ngài, vì Ngài cũng có một nguồn gốc bình thường y như họ.

Thiên Chúa muốn làm người để cảm thông, thân thiện, chia sẻ thân phận hèn mọn của con người. Nhưng xót xa thay! Chính điểm Thiên Chúa muốn sát gần con người lại là điểm con người bị vấp phạm.

Cầu nguyện:  Lạy Chúa Giêsu, chúng con sấp mình phục bái tình yêu của Chúa. Xin cho chúng con cảm nghiệm được tình yêu sâu xa khi Chúa chia sẻ thân phận khốn cùng của chúng con. Ngày nay, Chúa vẫn còn hiện diện trong những anh em bé mọn nhất. Xin cho chúng con biết đón nhận Chúa qua những người anh em đó; xin đừng vì dáng vẻ bên ngoài quá tầm thường khiến chúng con xúc phạm làm buồn lòng Chúa. Amen.

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CHÚA NHẬT 14 Thường Niên Năm C

Bài Đọc I: Ed 2, 2-5   “Đây là nhà phản loạn, và họ sẽ biết rằng giữa họ vẫn có một tiên tri”.

Bài trích sách Tiên tri Êdêkiel.

Trong những ngày ấy, sau khi nói với tôi, Thần Linh nhập vào tôi, và đỡ tôi đứng dậy. Tôi nghe Người nói với tôi rằng: “Hỡi con người, Ta sai ngươi đến với con cái Israel, đến với dân nổi loạn phản nghịch Ta, chúng và cha ông chúng vi phạm giao ước của Ta cho đến ngày nay. Ta sai ngươi đến để nói với những con cái dầy mặt cứng lòng rằng: ‘Chúa là Thiên Chúa phán như vậy’. Hoặc chúng nghe, hoặc chúng không nghe, vì đây là bọn phản loạn, và chúng sẽ biết rằng giữa chúng có một tiên tri”.   Đó là lời Chúa.

 

Đáp Ca: Tv 122, 1-2a. 2bcd. 3-4   Đáp: Mắt chúng con nhìn vào Chúa, cho tới khi Người thương xót chúng con (c. 2cd).

Xướng: 1) Con ngước mắt nhìn lên Chúa, Ngài ngự trị ở cõi cao xanh. Kìa, như mắt những người nam tôi tớ, nhìn vào tay các vị chủ ông. – Đáp.

2) Như mắt của những người tỳ nữ, nhìn vào tay các vị chủ bà, mắt chúng tôi cũng nhìn vào Chúa, là Thiên Chúa của chúng tôi như thế, cho tới khi Người thương xót chúng tôi. – Đáp.

3) Nguyện xót thương, lạy Chúa, nguyện xót thương, vì chúng con đã bị khinh dể ê chề quá đỗi! Linh hồn chúng con thật là no ngấy lời chê cười của tụi giàu sang, nỗi miệt thị của lũ kiêu căng. – Đáp.

 

Bài Đọc II: 2 Cr 12, 7-10  “Tôi rất vui sướng khoe mình về những sự yếu hèn của tôi, để sức mạnh của Đức Kitô ngự trong tôi”.

Bài trích thư thứ hai của Thánh Phaolô Tông đồ gửi tín hữu Côrintô.

Anh em thân mến, để những mạc khải cao siêu không làm cho tôi tự cao tự đại, thì một cái dằm đâm vào thịt tôi, một thần sứ của Satan vả mặt tôi. Vì thế đã ba lần tôi van nài Chúa, để nó rời khỏi tôi. Nhưng Người phán với tôi rằng: “Ơn Ta đủ cho ngươi, vì sức mạnh của Ta được tỏ bày trong sự yếu đuối”. Vậy tôi rất vui sướng khoe mình về những sự yếu hèn của tôi, để sức mạnh của Đức Kitô ngự trong tôi. Vì thế, tôi vui thoả trong sự yếu hèn của tôi, trong sự lăng nhục, quẫn bách, bắt bớ và khốn khó vì Đức Kitô: vì khi tôi yếu đuối, chính là lúc tôi mạnh mẽ.   Đó là lời Chúa.

 

Alleluia: 1 Pr 1, 25  Alleluia, alleluia! – Lời Chúa tồn tại muôn đời, đó là lời Tin Mừng đã rao giảng cho anh em. – Alleluia.

 

Phúc Âm: Mc 6, 1-6  “Không một tiên tri nào mà không bị khinh bỉ ở quê hương”.

Tin Mừng Chúa Giêsu Kitô theo Thánh Marcô.

Khi ấy, Chúa Giêsu trở về quê nhà và các môn đệ cùng theo Người. Đến ngày Sabbat, Người vào giảng trong hội đường, và nhiều thính giả sửng sốt về giáo lý của Người, nên nói rằng: “Bởi đâu ông này được như vậy? Sao ông được khôn ngoan như vậy? Bởi đâu tay Người làm được những sự lạ thể ấy? Ông này chẳng phải bác thợ mộc con bà Maria, anh em với Giacôbê, Giuse, Giuđa và Simon sao? Chị em ông không ở với chúng ta đây sao?” Và họ vấp phạm vì Người.

Chúa Giêsu liền bảo họ: “Không một tiên tri nào mà không bị khinh bỉ ở quê hương, gia đình họ hàng mình”. Ở đó Người không làm phép lạ nào được, ngoại trừ đặt tay chữa vài bệnh nhân, và Người ngạc nhiên vì họ cứng lòng tin. Người đi rảo qua các làng chung quanh mà giảng dạy.  Đó là lời Chúa.

Gospel  Lk 10,1-12.17-20

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
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 his 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.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

 

Daily Reading & Meditation

Sunday (July 07): “Pray the Lord to send out laborers into his harvest
Scripture:  Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 `Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come  near.’ 12 I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Meditation: What kind of harvest does the Lord want us to reap today for his kingdom? When Jesus commissioned seventy of his disciples to go on mission, he gave them a vision of a vast field that is ready to be harvested for the kingdom of God. Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest to convey the coming of God’s reign on earth. The harvest is the fruition of much labor and growth – beginning with the sowing of seeds, then growth to maturity, and finally the reaping of fruit for the harvest.

God’s word grows like a seed within us
In like manner, the word of God is sown in the hearts of receptive men and women who hear his word, accept it with trust and obedience, and then share the abundant fruit of God’s word in their life with others. The harvest Jesus had in mind was not only the gathering in of the people of Israel, but all the peoples (and nations) of the world. John the Evangelist tells us that  “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Be a sower of God’s word of peace and mercy
What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be “lambs in the midst of wolves”? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This certainly refers to the second coming of of the Lord Jesus when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth. In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who would oppose the Gospel. Jesus came to lay down his life for us, as our sacrificial lamb, to atone for our sins and the sins of the world. We, in turn, must be willing to offer our lives with gratitude and humble service for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are called to speak and witness in God’s name
What is the significance of Jesus appointing seventy disciples to the ministry of the word? Seventy was a significant number in biblical times. Moses chose seventy elders to help him in the task of leading the people through the wilderness. The Jewish Sanhedrin, the governing council for the nation of Israel, was composed of seventy members. In Jesus’ times seventy was held to be the number of nations throughout the world. Jesus commissioned the seventy to a two-fold task – to speak in his name and to act with his power.

Jesus gave his disciples instructions for how they were to carry out their ministry. They must go and serve as people without guile, full of charity (selfless giving in love) and peace, and simplicity. They must give their full attention to the proclamation of God’s kingdom and not be diverted by other lesser things. They must  travel light – only take what was essential and leave behind whatever would distract them – in order to concentrate on the task of speaking the word of the God. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting reward or payment. “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord Jesus wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves.

Jesus ends his instructions with a warning: If people reject God’s invitation and refuse his word, then they bring condemnation on themselves. When God gives us his word there comes with it the great responsibility to respond. Indifference will not do. We are either for or against God in how we respond to his word.

Our true source of joy comes from God who saves us
Why does Jesus tell his disciples to not take joy in their own successes, even spiritual ones? Jesus makes clear that the true source of our joy is God, and God alone. Regardless of the circumstances, in good times and bad times, in  success or loss, God always assures us of victory in Jesus Christ. Jesus assures his disciples that he has all power over evil, including the power of Satan and the evil spirits or fallen angels who conspire against us. In fact, that is why Jesus came into the world to overthrow the evil one (John 12:31). We, too, as disciples of Jesus have been given spiritual authority and power for overcoming the works of darkness and evil (1 John 2:13-14).

God gives us his life-giving word that we may have abundant life in him. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and plainly to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the Gospel by word and example to those around you?

“Lord Jesus, may the joy and truth of the Gospel transform my life that I may witness it to those around me. Grant that I may spread your truth and merciful love wherever I go.”

Psalm 66:1-6,16,20

1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you, sing praises to your name.” [Selah] 5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among men.
6 He turned the sea into dry land; men passed through the river on foot.  There did we rejoice in him,
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.
20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Jesus the Good Shepherd changes wolves into sheep, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)

“How then does [Jesus] command the holy apostles, who are innocent men and ‘sheep,’ to seek the company of wolves, and go to them of their own will? Is not the danger apparent? Are they not set up as ready prey for their attacks? How can a sheep prevail over a wolf? How can one so peaceful conquer the savageness of beasts of prey? ‘Yes,’ he says, ‘for they all have me as their Shepherd: small and great, people and princes, teachers and students. I will be with you, help you, and deliver you from all evil. I will tame the savage beasts. I will change wolves into sheep, and I will make the persecutors become the helpers of the persecuted. I will make those who wrong my ministers to be sharers in their pious designs. I make and unmake all things, and nothing can resist my will.'” (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 61)

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