15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

In today’s Gospel Our Lord teaches the Twelve that to be an apostle means to give a Gospel example in order to foster a more effective proclamation. One example is poverty: today he tells them to take what they need, but to keep it simple. Our testimony of Gospel simplicity in the things we use is also a way we evangelize. We live this poverty in order to fulfill our mission as apostles. In the First Reading, when the priest accuses the prophet Amos of being a beggar preaching to make a living, Amos responds that he owned a flock and sycamore trees: he had property and possessions. He was a prophet because Our Lord sent him to prophesy, and like the Twelve in the Gospel today, being a prophet doesn’t involve being well equipped or focusing on making a living.

This Gospel poverty also helps us to see the true treasure we possess, a treasure so eloquently expressed today in the Second Reading by St. Paul: before the foundation of the world the Lord has wanted us to be holy and blameless before him. Holiness is the ultimate happiness, even if it seems tough at times, and a great peace comes from having our sins forgiven, making us blameless before Our Heavenly Father. He has adopted us as his sons and daughters. Lastly, he makes his will known to us as the best path to holiness and happiness: we may not like it at times, but it is a source of spiritual fruitfulness for ourselves and those we love.

Let’s thank Our Lord today for all the spiritual wealth he has lavished upon us, and ask him to show us, in the light of those spiritual treasures, what things we really need, and what things we don’t.

Readings: Amos 7:12–15; Psalm 85:9–14; Ephesians 1:3–14; Mark 6:7–13.