Jesus sends out 72 disciples – in pairs, trusting on God’s providence and facing tough struggles – so that they can proclaim the Kingdom of God. Nehemiah and Ezra remind the people of Israel not to forget the Lord. The Church needs both: we come to know God so that we might invite others to know the Lord as well.
The Gospel of Luke recounts how Jesus sent out 72 disciples. Note these features:
There is great need (The harvest is rich, the laborers are few…”)
They go out in pairs – to support each other
They come with peaceful hearts
They travel simply, trusting in the providence of God
They cure the sick
They proclaim the Kingdom of God
And they are successful! They return to Jesus, rejoicing that even demons are cast out by the power of the Lord’s name.
What a powerful reminder that we, too, are sent by the Lord. God calls us, empowers us, and directs our lives to bring faith, hope and love to those who cross our path. Let’s apply the Gospel reading then accordingly:
There is great need – among the people we know and love
We can work together: family, friends, as a parish or community
The Peace of Jesus Christ guides our words and actions
We focus more on people, less on material things
We seek to promote healing at all times
We proclaim the Good News of Christ
Christ sent out his disciples with great success, and he continues to call forth disciples today to continue his saving work. May we respond with open hearts as we make a difference among the people God places before us.