15th Sunday of the ordinary time

Readings: Amos 7: 12-15 Ephesians 1: 17-18 Mark 6:7-13

Theme: A prophet is sent

Today is the 15th Sunday of the ordinary time year B. In our 1st reading we see the rejection of the prophet Amos, by the priest at the shrine of Bethel. He felt that the prophet Amos had intruded into his territory and as such he should return to his own southern kingdom. He forgets that when God calls us he qualifies us and when he qualifies us he commissions us. Amos did not choose himself, God chose him. Even though he was from the southern kingdom, God commanded him to go to the Northern kingdom and this made the priest at the shrine of Bethel uncomfortable. This is because God was against the ills that were going on in the Northern kingdom at the time. And the priest of Bethel was not exempted from the ills that were going on at the time.

The people were exploited and there was inequality in the land. So the Lord mandated Amos to go to the Northern kingdom and make the people come to terms with the fact that their way of life was not in line with the desire of God. Sometimes in our life, we can find ourselves in this kind of situation.  Last week Sunday in the gospel Jesus was rejected by his people. We see a collaborator turning himself into a rival instead of a collaborator as a result of the style of life he was living. He was living a style of life that was contrary to his call, that is why he rejects Amos who was appointed by God and the preaching of Amos was challenging his lifestyle which is contrary to what it should be.

The liturgy for today presents an important question, who are you rejecting? Are we rejecting the prophet of God instead of being collaborator’s in the work in which God has entrusted to us as children of God? Sometimes we see people as rivals who are supposed to be collaborators because of our personal insecurities.  As children of God, we are called to be collaborators and we see that in the Gospel. Jesus sent them out, he gives the mandate to reach out, to proclaim the good news, to bring healing to those who desire it and have faith in it.

It is also interesting to hear that Jesus tells them to stay in houses only where they are welcomed. It is in houses that are welcomed that they will enjoy the gift and the blessings of God that they came with. We are all encouraged today to welcome the prophets of God. Also when people come to us, do we welcome them? Do we receive them? Do we allow them to bestow upon us the blessing of God? Or we reject them?  It is not only about saying it vocally, it is also shown by our body language. We can also reject people even without speaking. That is why my brothers and sisters, on this 15th Sunday of the year B in ordinary time, it is an opportunity for us to strive to ensure that we see other people as collaborators and not rivals. When we see ourselves as collaborators working for the good of the kingdom of God, our lives will become better, and also our society will be better. This will put an end to the unnecessary rivalry that is seen amongst the followers of Christ. There will no longer be room for unnecessary rivalry and jealousy. May God grant us the grace to have an accommodating spirit. Peace be with you.



Homily for the 15th Sunday in the ordinary time of the Year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp