The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Quite often amidst life’s daily tasks and encounters my attention goes to what is wrong with this person or that decision. Online news reports regularly give more coverage to crime and violence than to goodness and self-sacrifice. For most any of us it is harder to focus on the good we accomplish than the
faults and failings which stare us in the face. How refreshing, then, to hear Jesus praise his 72 disciples as they return from their mission trip. God’s power and grace have been alive in their preaching and healing; their presence to others has been a real source of conversion and goodness.
So what might happen if we do what Jesus invites: can I show some measure of kindness today towards someone I usually find difficult? Can I notice my spouse’s generosity? my co-worker’s self-sacrifice as a crucial deadline looms? Our neighborhood’s outreach towards another family’s misfortune? Can I hear Jesus words as spoken to me personally: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see…and hear what you hear!”
Take a minute today to look at the reports of Pope Francis’ Oct 4 gathering for peace and renewal in Assisi. Can you and I take a cue from his words and deeds … words and deeds yesterday that invite us to “go and do likewise” today, just as Jesus invites?
Hope in what is possible, joy in what is accomplished – these gospel values seem so intangible. Today’s readings invite us to practical hope and joy. Not a bad agenda for the month of October – let’s get to it!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Dear God, I choose You! And because I choose You, I choose hope. And because I choose hope, I will keep going even when I am tired and discouraged. You will strengthen me, encourage me, and give me hope and a future. I trust You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
—Leith Anderson, excerpted from Faith MattersPlease share the Good Word with your friends!