Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, writer, playwright, and social reformer who was born in Kolkata in India in 1861. He won the Nobel  prize for literature in 1993.  One of his stories called ‘The Post office’ is about a little boy called Amal, who was confined to his adoptive uncle’s home by an incurable disease. Through the window, Amal sees the people passing by and he stands in  the courtyard and talks to passers-by, and asks in particular about the places they go. The construction of a new nearby post office, prompts the imaginative Amal to fantasize about receiving a letter from the King or being his postman. Time goes by and he gets weaker and weaker and then the great surprise,  he does not receive a letter from the king, it is the king himself who comes to visit him.  They have a wonderful conversation and finally Amal knows he can die happily, because he will have a wonderful home, and he will meet the King of Kings.  In todays gospel, Jesus sends his apostles out on a mission, they are his messengers, they are his postmen.  They do not carry postbags, their message is in their hearts,  it’s in their kindness,  and their good works.  They do not drop a letter in a letterbox,  they speak to the heart.  They are called to bring the good news.  Jesus does not send them out one by one,  he sends them two by two.  He wants his messengers to encourage and help each other;  and sometimes to put up with each other. We have a wonderful example of this in our own parish and community, where everyone works together, supporting each other, encouaging each other and putting up with each other. Today Jesus needs messengers just as he did two thousand years ago,  and he is inviting each one of us to be his messenger, to be his postmen and post-women. St. Paul uses this analogy saying that we are letters written by God for others to read. What message am I bringing to everyone I meet? Everything we do and say, even the small things,  is part of this message.  Every morning when we get up we can ask the Lord: what good news do you want me to bring today?  Where do you want me to bring this good news? to whom, do you want me to bring this good news? Maybe there is someone out there today who is waiting for your good news and in these challenging times we all welcome some good news. One of the beautiful images that many of us remember is when St. John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979, and when he spoke to thousands of young people gathered in Ballybrit racecourse in Galway, and we heard the beautiful song that was sung – taken from Isaiah Chapter 52 -: ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  This song refers to you and to me when we allow ourselves to be messengers of Christ.