An uneducated woman once invited another woman who is very educated for a business meeting. She had used her educated children to initiate the contact. Now it is time for them to meet face to face and she doesnt know how to present herself in the meeting. Her children bought her an ear piece which she will put in her ear while at the meeting. They will be on a phone call with her. All she needs to do at the meeting is to say exactly what she hears them say from the other end of the phone. Of course, they are able to follow the conversation from where they are. For a while this worked. But when it was about time to sign the most important document, she was unable to hear her children. In the end, she was found out.

This can help us as we reflect on the readings of today. We can reflect on the idea of missioning. Missioning is a ceremony where a person is sent on a mission. For example, if a group of missionaries are about to send one or two of their members to a foreign country on mission, they could conduct a missioning ceremony, where the persons are officially sent on a mission. What this implies is that the one being sent is not going on his own accord. Therefore, he has to represent what the group stands for. The initiative of the mission begins, not even with the superiors sending the missionary, but from the Holy Spirit. In the First Reading, the Holy Spirit spoke to the gathered community about setting Barnabas and Saul apart for a special mission. Hands were laid upon them and they were sent out. This missioning is very important because they are not to do and say what they want, but what the one who sent them has instructed. To listen to them will not be listening to them, but listening to the one who sent them.

Jesus tells us in the Gospel that whoever believes in Him is only believing in the one who sent Him. Whoever does not listen to Him will not be punished by Him, but by the one who sent Him. To reject Him is to reject the one who sent Him. He insists that the words He has spoken does not originate from Him. It comes from the Father. I try to limit my reflections, and base them completely on the readings, because my duty is not to give my opinion. My duty is to explain what the scriptures is saying. I may use a story or illustration to do so, but the central message did not originate from me. The message is not mine, but God’s message. Of course, there are times when you listen to a preacher and you can see it is all his opinion. That should not be. The message is not ours. We are only messengers and our duty is to say exaclty what the Holy Spirit has asked us to say; nothing more, nothing less. Once you have done that as a preacher, whoever disagrees with you disagrees with the Holy Spirit. Someone once said a good homily is when you dont allow the readings to prevent you from saying what you want to say. It is not about what I want to say. It is about what I have been asked to say. On the day or diaconate, priestly and episcopal ordination, hands is laid upon the minister. This is a missioning ceremony as well. For all christians, on the day of our baptism and confirmation, hands were also laid on us and this is a mandate and a missioning gesture. You have been sent to the world on a special mission, not to say and do your own thing, but to say and do exactly what the one who has sent you has asked you to say and do. Let your opinion not prevent God from speaking to His people. Rather, forget about your opinion and what you want to do and listen to the Holy Spirit.


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