I was very taken by that young tennis player from America , Coco Gauff, just 15 years of age who was able to beat 5 time Wimbeldon champion Venus Williams in the first round of championship this year. The image of David and Goliath came to mind, on his part it was a well-aimed stoned that did the trick in her case it was the well-aimed tennis ball that slew Venus. The story hasn’t ended there, she is not a one hit wonder, she has just knocked out two other well placed women tennis players to reach the last 16 in the competition.
It seems amazing to me that a young girl could do this. Up against the odds, people of more experience, people stronger, people with all the tricks of the trade. She surely has ability and skill, but it is maybe also that thing of youth. The spirit of youth, that spirit of can do, that enterprising spirit, that spirit that will challenge, try and test things, that will throw caution to the win, risk everything to win everything. How often we see that in light in young people but not in older people, who are cautious, prudent, afraid, nit willing to take unnecessary risks.
I wonder if we are hearing something of that in the reading of today’s mass. Surely the apostles are up against it, with no money in their pockets, no clothes on their back, no food, no shelter. They have no certainty of success, the opposite, things seem to be weighed against them.
Like David who goes out to fight Goliath, the odds are against them. The signs don’t look good. They surely will fail in their mission.
But there is something in them that will not allow them to fail. They will overcome the odds. The good news will be passed on. The seed will reach earth, take root and yield a harvest. There is something burning in them that won’t be quenched. A spirit, a power, an eagerness, a youthful spirit that won’t let them fail, that although small won’t be overcome by the big challenges.
How and where do we lose that spirit in life. What is it that makes us fearful to take risks? What is it that makes us cautious? What is it that makes us play safe? What is it that makes us lose our sense of challenge?
A young girl goes into a tennis court and defeats a five time champion. The 72 go into the world with nothing and succeed in what they were sent to do.
Its easy to be ground down. Its easy to have the hopes and dreams sucked out of you. Its easy to settled down to a life of leisure.
But if we are hearing the reading right today, that is nit what we are called to do. We are called to take part in a great project, to be preparing a great harvest, tilling the earth, sowing the seeds, cutting the crop. We are called to be sharers in that work of bringing a message to the world which is always Good News and Peace and Joy.
We are nit bit players in this but main players. Our participation has an important part to play in the outcome and the success if the harvest.
Our eagerness, our joy, our drive, that felling we can overcome all things, that sense in which nothing is too big plays a part.
We can do things we can’t imagine. We can overcome things that we didn’t thing we would be able to do. Everything and mire is possible.
It is possible to dream and fr dreams to come true. It is possible to hope and for hopes to be realised.
The 72 against the odds returns successful, against all the odds. We are assured also that we will return successful if we dream big. If we look to the skies. If we set our sights high.