Study: Name three people who have had a real influence in your life. What did they do or say that made the difference?
Pray: In your daily prayer, when you pray for people call to mind their faces (preferably smiling!).
Serve: Who can you help today? How might you be the living witness of Christ to someone God places in your path?
In the Gospel today Jesus chooses seventy-two disciples to go out and minister to the people. They journeyed to every town Jesus intended to visit, proclaiming the Good News and healing the sick.
I’ve often wondered about this commission. Why did Jesus do this? We know through the Scriptures that Jesus performed countless miracles, so why did the Lord pick out certain people to share in his ministry? He certainly didn’t need them, yet they were empowered by Jesus to participate in his work of redemption.
Simply put, God works through people. The Lord chose these seventy-two individuals to be conduits of grace. As instruments of God’s power, these disciples not only furthered the ministry of Christ, they became coworkers of God’s plan for the Kingdom. These people, chosen by the Lord, proclaim the Word of God with a human voice.
Furthermore, God works through people to build a human community. We do not walk through life alone. The Lord not only invites us to reach out, but the Lord supports his people in their service. This is why the disciples went out in pairs; they were able to strengthen each other in difficult moments and celebrate in their joys.
For these reasons the Church exists today. God calls us to grow together – reaching out to those in need and supporting one another as we follow our path of discipleship. This is the purpose of our sacraments, our prayer, our Eucharist, and our lives in the larger community.
For when we realize that God works through people we discover that God works through us. The Lord invites us to be open to the Spirit of Christ. As we imitate the example of Jesus by the practicing the love he proclaimed, we continue the Lord’s saving work here on Earth. Our hands and feet carry on the service of Jesus so that healing and hope might continue.
The sending of the disciples reveals that God intends to give us an opportunity to participate in this wonderful work. May we be open to this invitation, sharing the many gifts and talents we have received as we offer our lives to help build the Kingdom of Heaven.