In the first reading the prophet says that “many great peoples and powerful nations will come seeking Yahweh, God of hosts, in Jerusalem and pray to him.” They will come because they have “heard that God is with you.”
Before Jesus returned to heaven in his Ascension, he commissioned his disciples to “go and make disciples from all nations.” (Mt 28: 19) Jesus wishes that the salvation he gained be brought to and be enjoyed by all humankind, similar to the prophet’s words that many peoples and nations will come to worship Yahweh, the one true God of hosts and of Israel.
In the Gospel reading the apostles James and John wished to call down fire and thunder from the heavens to destroy the Samaritan village which refused to receive them: thus, Jesus called them Boanerges, “men of thunder.” Though the Samaritans did not receive them (Jews and Samaritans did not like one another, hated one another! They also knew Jesus and his disciples were headed for the Jewish center Jerusalem.), Jesus rebuked James and John for their evil wishes on the Samaritan village.
Despite two millennia of Christianity, the great majority of our world today do not know Christ; there are many who know of him and hate those who believe in him.
May we strengthen our faith in Christ. May we be witnesses of Christ to others that they may say, “We, too, want to go with you for we have heard that God is with you.”