FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle B/Year I (July 11, 2021)
Am 7:12-15/Eph 1:3-14/Mk 6:7-13
In the gospel, Jesus sent His apostles two by two in order to preach the good news and to remove the unclean spirits from the people. Jesus could have sent them one by one for which many places and people would be served. But instead, He sent them two by two. The reason is the importance of a community. Aside from God’s help, we cannot do any big task without help from others. We are not superhuman. We need others and this is concretely expressed in a famous dictum that says “No man is an island.”
Second, in a community, we discover who we are. Left to our own selves, we are blinded by what we think of ourselves and we usually believe in our personal concept of ourselves. But within a community, this does not happen because we are constantly checked by our companions. Our companions would always notice the good things that we do, we have, and we are. They even notice more the bad things that we do, we have, and we are. And they would criticize us telling us harmful words which awaken us from our reality.
Third, we cannot do what we simply want and desire. If we live by ourselves, we will always do what we want to do regardless of what others would think and say. But if we live in a community, we cannot do this because we have to consider the culture, tradition, laws, and what others would think and say about us. Thus, in a community, our actions and words are limited in accordance with the values of the community. We have to live those values and never go against them otherwise we would be criticized and even penalized by the community.
Fourth, in a community, we grow and become mature. If we live by ourselves, we will always think that we are doing right and we are right. But in a community, we are corrected by our community members when they see something wrong that we do. This leads us to have the right knowledge of ourselves and to discover which part of our actions and convictions needs to be corrected. In other words, in a community, we learn to know who we are and even know our neighbors. Then we adjust ourselves to try to fit within the values of the community. This leads us to our own personal maturity.
An organization called “Re-Form Shreveport” spent a year working in a local park. Shreveport decided to embrace what they already have and spend time making what they have better. The community started in a neighborhood park and worked together to clean trash and make the grounds look healthier. The project showed the community that changing your city doesn’t have to be expensive, it just takes a community working together to make a difference for a better future (credit to the owner of the story).
Lastly, in a community, we can help one another. If we live by ourselves, every task will be difficult because we do it by ourselves. On the other hand, in a community, when we help one another like the organization “Re-Form Shreveport”, we not only find the job very light and easy, we can also make our community a better place to live in. In other words, in a community where people help one another, miracles can happen.
In the gospel, Jesus Christ reminds us that we do not live and cannot live alone. We need our community, we need others. For this reason, in everything that we do and say, let us always think of how our actions and words can be of help to better our community. Otherwise, if the effect of our actions and words are damaging to the community, better not to do or say them at all. Let us always be in communion with Jesus so that He may always guide us and empower us in living with the community. God Bless!!