Good morning, happy Thursday, and many blessings.
The Gospel for today’s (Luke 10:1-12) begins with somewhat dense expressions. The first one, “After these things, it sends us back to the prayer of Jesus and to his firm decision to go to Jerusalem. The second one concerns the verb “appointed”: He appointed seventy-two others and sent them out...” (10, 1). Where it is said concretely that He sent them ahead of him, it is the same resolute Jesus who is journeying to Jerusalem.
Jesus is preparing his disciples for mission. He leaves them in no doubt about the challenges, obstacles and dangers which will await them. They will succeed, however, because the power of God is working with them. Accordingly, ‘the seventy return with joy’. Do I experience that joy when I do what the Lord wants?
The recommendations that Jesus addresses to them before sending them are an invitation to be aware of the reality to which they are sent: abundant harvest in contrast to the few laborers. The Lord of the harvest arrives with all his force, but the joy of that arrival is hindered by the reduced number of laborers. Therefore, the categorical invitation to prayer: “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to do his harvesting” (v. 2).
The initiative of sending out on mission is the competence of God but Jesus transmits the order:” Start off now” and then He indicates the ways of following (vv. 4-11). He begins with the luggage: no purse, no sack nor sandals. These are elements that show the fragility of the one who is sent and his dependence on the help that they receive from the Lord and from the people of the city.
What an awesome responsibility and privilege Jesus has bestowed on me to carry, together with others, the message of God’s love and mercy to the world. I ask him therefore to give me the wisdom, courage, and strength to carry on his ministry.
St. Teresa of Avila reminds me why I must carry on his ministry to the world: 'Christ has no body on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ looks out to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless others now.'
The message entrusted to the disciples by Jesus is peace and the nearness of the kingdom of God’. This same message of peace and justice, forgiveness and healing, and the Good News of God’s kingdom, has been entrusted to the Church down the centuries. Now it is my turn to witness to it.
My dear sisters and brothers, Jesus' ministry included both physical and spiritual healing because the concerns of the ordinary people of Jesus' day were demons and sickness, and the two were very closely related. If we stop and think about it for a minute, things are not much different today. Demons are still present today. They just have different names. Can you recognize them?
In the context of the call that God has given you, I want you to meditate on this today: In radical discipleship, the more God entrust, the more he demands. Do you understand what God is demanding of you?