15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Scripture readings we hear of God‘s plan for us. It involves our identity and our calling. A calling is a vocation. Typically we think of vocation in terms of one dedicated to a religious life of ministry. However vocation is one’s fullest identity in relationship with God applied to many different scenarios.

One can be called to the vocation of fatherhood or motherhood. One can be called to the vocation of nurse. One can be called to the vocation of teacher. One can be called to the vocation of friend. Vocation goes beyond any particular job. It elevates the job, the duty to God. It lifts up our daily activities to the Lord. Vocation allows God’s grace to work through us in our sense of who we are. Having a vocation connects our mind, spirit, and heart to God. Having a vocation is an openness to laying our plans for our lives at the altar of God. Our very identity, who we are, what we do, is grounded in our relationship with God.

Many times in the Bible, God calls someone forth to ministry, to a vocation, to a relationship that surprises and even shocks. Certainly Abraham did not expect to be the father of countless generations in his old age. And yet he is now considered the father of the Jews. In today’s first reading from the Old Testament, Amos was a keeper of flocks He was a shepherd. And yet God calls Amos forth to proclaim His message. Think of the Apostles. Fishermen were called. A tax collector was called. Think of St Paul. He was Saúl the great persecutor of Christians. Jesus called him directly and we have so much of the New Testament Scripture because of Paul’s yes to the call of Christ.

In our second reading, St Paul reminds us of God‘s plan. He tells us that God “chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy.” That means to be close to God. “He destined as for adoption to Himself through Jesus Christ”

And then Paul reminds us that we “all exist for the praise of God’s glory”

So as you think about your day and your life and who you – do you see yourself as being called by God? Do you see yourself as one connected to God in your daily activity?

Let me echo Paul’s words to you today. You have been called. You are called each day to give glory to God by what you say and by what you do. What does this mean for us? What does this look like for us? One way to give glory to God is to share your blessings with others. To give simple praise to God by sharing the good things that have happened to you in any day. Another way to give glory to God is to devote your day to the Lord. Devote your work to the Lord. For those who are working, see it as more than just a job. See it as a way to serve God by serving others.

Perhaps we often think of giving testimony to God as a loudmouth obnoxious activity. It certainly does not have to be that way. Giving testimony to God can be as simple as sharing with a friend a recent blessing that you recognize as having come from the Lord.

Today and every day let us pray to see the big picture. Let us pray to see ourselves through God‘s eyes. We have been called to align our lives with God‘s plan. May we always place our plans at the foot of the altar. May we always offer our day up to the Lord. Let us count our blessings, share our gratitude and joy for graces received, And may we way all always exist to give glory to God.

Am 7:12-15

Go, prophesy to my people.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos

Amaziah, priest of Bethel, said to Amos,
   “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!
There earn your bread by prophesying,
   but never again prophesy in Bethel;
   for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.”
Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet,
   nor have I belonged to a company of prophets;
   I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.
The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me,
   Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14

R. :

R. (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

I will hear what God proclaims;
   the LORD—for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
   glory dwelling in our land.

R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Kindness and truth shall meet;
   justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
   and justice shall look down from heaven.

R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

The LORD himself will give his benefits;
   our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
   and prepare the way of his steps.

R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.


Second Reading
Eph 1:3-14 or Eph 1:3-10

God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
   who has blessed us in Christ
   with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
   as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
   to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
   in accord with the favor of his will,
   for the praise of the glory of his grace
   that he granted us in the beloved.
In him we have redemption by his blood,
   the forgiveness of transgressions,
   in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
   the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
   that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
   to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

In him we were also chosen,
   destined in accord with the purpose of the One
   who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
   so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
   we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
   the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
   were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,
   which is the first installment of our inheritance
   toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.

Or: [Shorter Form]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
   who has blessed us in Christ
   with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
   as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
   to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
   in accord with the favor of his will,
   for the praise of the glory of God’s grace
   that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we have redemption by his blood,
   the forgiveness of transgressions,
   in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
   the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
   that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
   to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.


Acclamation before the Gospel
cf. Eph 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
Mk 6:7-13

He began to send them out.

✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
   and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey
   but a walking stick—
   no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals
   but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
   “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
   leave there and shake the dust off your feet
   in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
   and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:

The Gospel of the Lord.

All reply:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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