After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way.
See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid.
Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
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.
In today’s Gospel, St. Luke reflects on the challenges of sharing a message. Jesus meets with outright resistance from some, and even friends who are distracted by the needs of the present world. We can all appreciate this struggle as we likely know from our own experience how hard it is to convince even close friends of a new idea. We also know how much easier it is to give in to immediate desires than to attend to long term goals. We may want the ideal, the “glorious splendor of the kingdom”, but we mere mortals are forever distracted by the latest bright, shiny object.
St. John recognizes what an honor it is to be chosen to serve a great mission. St. Luke tells of Jesus sending his disciples out to be like lambs among wolves – and we know many stories of this being literally true. What great courage it takes to face such a challenge. Lambs need a reliable sheepdog.
Lord Jesus, we ask you now
to help us to remain with you always,
to be close to you with all the ardor of our hearts,
to take up joyfully the mission you entrust us,
and that is to continue your presence
and spread the good news of your resurrection.
—Carlo Maria Martini, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!