Year C 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Is. 66:10-14; Gal. 6:14-18; Lk. 10:1-12, 17-20
There is a story about a brave young man, Corky, an expert swordsman, and he dreamed of becoming the best fighter in the world. In the whole army there wasn't a single soldier who could beat him. He hoped to become the head of the army one day. The King liked Corky,
 but when Corky told him about his ambition, the King was shocked and said, "Your desire is sincere, but I'm afraid it can't happen right now. You still have much to learn."
Corky became so furious that he stormed out of the palace, determined to learn all there was to know about fighting wars. He went to all places, improving his technique and his strength.
Finally he reached a huge grey fortress on top of a great mountain. He had heard it was the best military school in the world. Before entering the fortress the guard said, “Hand over your weapons. You won't be needing those any more. Here you'll be getting better ones", He was impressed, and he gave him his weapons. One of the instructors, a serious old man of few words, accompanied Corky to his room.
As he left, the old man said, "In a hundred days the training will start." A hundred days! At first Corky thought this was a joke, but he soon realized the man had been serious. The first days were filled with nervous tension, and he ended up waiting patiently, enjoying each day as it was.
On the hundred and first day the first lesson began. "You have already learned how to use your main weapon: patience", said the wise old teacher. Corky could hardly believe it.
"Now it's time to learn how to win every battle," said the old man.
That sounded good to Corky.  He found himself tied hand and foot to a chair; a chair standing on top of a small pedestal, and with dozens of villagers climbing up to try to give him a good whack. He had little time to act, and the ropes were tight; he couldn't get out of this one. When the villagers climbed on the pedestal, they set to work, giving him a good beating.
The very same exercise was repeated for days, and Corky knew he would have to try some new tactics. In the following days he kept talking to them, until he managed to convince them that he was no threat to them, but rather a friend. In the end, he was so persuasive that they gave up their hostility by themselves, and a friendship developed.
The second day of training the master said.
"You already control the most powerful weapon - the weapon of words. That which you couldn't achieve with strength or sword, you managed with your tongue," said the old man.
Corky agreed, and he prepared to continue his training. "Now, this is the most important part of all. “Here you will fight, every man for himself. The winner will be the last man standing", said the teacher.
And so, every morning, the seven warriors would fight it out. They succeeded in directing a ferocious battle. However, as the days passed, Corky realized that both his own strength, and his villagers, were weakening. So he changed his tactics. He proposed using his villagers to help the others recover. His opponents were grateful and all villagers began to join Corky's group.
The old man then entered and said. "Of all the weapons, peace is my favourite.  Sooner or later everyone joins the side of peace."
In today’s Gospel we heard that Jesus sent out 72 disciples with a clear mission.
St Luke narrates the mission of the disciples by “playing with number”, so to say something very common in Holy Scriptures. Number 12 stands in the mind of Luke for the 12 tribes of Israel. And 72 stands for the seventy two tribes listed in chapter 10 of the Book of Genesis. So for Luke the sending of the 72 disciples was a sign that the message of Jesus should reach all the nations of the world.
Jesus sent out his disciples with the strongest weapon, “peace”. He gave them instruction, Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.”
The Gospel gives very clear indication that the Ministry of Jesus was linked to establishing peace. When Jesus was born the Angels announced, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” (Luke 2:14)
Jesus’ way of life was one of nonviolence, peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. He promised peace to everyone who approached Him. Even after the resurrection Jesus’ first message to the Apostles was “Peace be with you” (Jn. 20:19). Acts of the Apostles emphasizes that Jesus was sent to Israel, to preach good news of peace. (Acts 10:36)
Isaiah had announced the arrival of the king of peace centuries before the coming of Jesus. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”(Is 52:7)
Just like the 72 disciples were sent out to offer peace, heal the sick and announce the kingdom of God, today we are entrusted with the mission to spread the good news, to prepare for him the way into the hearts of people.  He wants us to be messengers of his peace.  In the second reading St Paul wishes peace and mercy to all who follow God’s rule.
We cannot share peace unless the peace of Christ reigns within us and among the members of the Christian community. To enjoy peace we should be able to use the weapons of patience and right use of words. The root cause of all the troubles in the world is that no one has patience and many do not know how to use words properly. If these two virtues are followed peace will set in. Peace will reign in our hearts, in our home, in our society, in our country and in the world.
Etty Hillesum wrote “Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.”
Let us pray with St Francis to make us too the instruments of peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.