Jesus and the appointed seventy-two

Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

Jesus and the 72 disciplesAfter these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. “Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. “But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ “And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. “Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. “And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ “But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ “But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city. … Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

In this Gospel, we find Jesus sending His disciples ahead of Him to prepare the way for His announcement of the Kingdom of God.  He instructs His disciples to go empty handed and to rely upon the generous stewardship of those they preach to.  Jesus further expresses that those who refuse to hear the Good News and accept God into their lives will not have their name written in Heaven.

We too are called to be both messengers and good stewards of the Word.  We are invited and instructed to go and preach the Good News.  We are also asked to be good and responsible Christians offering our time, treasure and talent to help further the message of our Lord.  Just like Jesus told His disciples “I am sending you like lambs among the wolves”, we too can find ourselves in hostile territory.  There are many who seek to remove the 10 Commandments from public places or hush the Christian message.  It is our responsibility as Apostles of Christ, to push beyond these hurdles and share the redeeming news… “The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.”

How will you minister to others and spread the news of the Gospel?  What stewardship can you bring to your parish community?  Time?  Talent?  Treasure?  It’s a busy world that we live in.  It is often hard to find time.  Yet, when we make the commitment to share our time, talent or treasure, we find we are blessed many times over.  The challenges associated with every day life tend to be less challenging.  We have the Holy Spirit guiding us!

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