Year C: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel: Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20
Today’s Gospel marks the commissioning of 72 disciples to go on ahead of Jesus to prepare the Way for Him. He is aware of the difficulties and the welcome (or lack of welcome) that they will meet and warns them that He is sending them out like “lambs among wolves”.
He does not send them out alone - but with a companion to share the journey with all its joys and sorrows.
His instructions are straightforward - but tough - no money - no haversack - no security. They are to lodge where they can and accept whatever hospitality they find as wages for the work they are doing for the Kingdom. Their mission is to proclaim the Kingdom - curing those who are sick.
Where they are not made welcome, they are to move on. As they go, they are to make it clear that they will not even take the dust from the streets with them. The rejection of the Kingdom stays with those who rejected it - and will not be carried as a burden by those who have been rejected.
The seventy-two go out and come back rejoicing at what “they” have accomplished in the name of Jesus. Jesus shares their joy and says that they have indeed been given power through His name. He has given them something of His own power over evil. This is much more than performing miracles. The disciples are, in fact, confronting evil in the things that hold people bound and have been given the power to overcome it. This power is given - not to avoid evil and hostility altogether - but to ensure that the Good News will be proclaimed in spite of them.
The greatest gift, though - as Jesus reminds them - is not the power - but the fact that their names are written in heave - they are destined for eternal life.
What does it mean for me?
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