Posted: 06 Jul 2013 06:00 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 13 “Woe to you, Chora’zin! woe to you, Beth-sa’ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Caper’na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. 16 “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” 17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Reflection: The missionary mandate given to the disciples has some points for us to reflect on.
The primary call of being called to be his messengers; which means men who will carry his message of salvation to all who would be open and willing, ready to receive this message.
It is made possible by the fruit of obedience to the Lord, of the dedicated disciples, and blessed in obedience to him; made possible by accepting the message proclaimed to them.
In the process of obedience to God is also born the qualities of openness to the working of God’s grace in the midst of the people.
I am sure that when the Lord asked his dedicated disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest, they may have also prayed for the harvest and those whom they will be ministering to that they may also become laborers in the harvest of God.
What if these dedicated disciples would not have prayed, as they went along on their journey?
This is one among the many questions that give us a reason to reflect on.
What if they would have opted for their Old Testament spirituality and refused to be lambs in the midst of wolves and thus refused to go?
They could have told the Lord that his mandate to be missionaries was irrelevant; if there was indeed a son of peace in the midst of humanity, then what was the need to reach out to him? Is he not already saved by virtue of his being so?
And, if there were to go to the wolves then not carrying a pair of sandals and food and clothing was as good as walking the path of doom.
Instead, the disciples were dedicated and faith to their call, thanks to the Lord and to the many who were open to welcome these with peace and also with food and shelter.
Could this be a right question in our times: Do we welcome the servant of the Lord with such openness as the Lord demands or should the question be: Are there laborers in the Lord’s vineyard in our times.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the zeal of a true follower of you and may I never tire of offering myself and all that you have given me for the work of proclaiming your kingdom here on earth.
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