The Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where He himself was to go. And He said to them, «The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.
»Whatever house you enter, first bless them saying: ‘Peace to this house’. If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house. When they welcome you in any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you’».
I always try to put the gospel message in practice in a simple way, without making much complications. Today we have such a rich gospel, particularly the election and the mission. Many of us have a great desire to do the will of God and are struck because we are not able to discern it. If someone is able to discern perfectly, then, he or she should be a saint, though in a limited way. This achievement is a miracle.
For people like me I would like to invite you to recall the missionary spirit of Luke (today is St. Luke) and Paul, and try to look this gospel with their own eyes. If they are there with us, how will they look at this gospel?
Let me take some words from this gospel for the application.
Harvest, what does this mean to us today and how am I going to harvest from where the Lord has already planted?
Sending us among the wolves, does this mean that the world is bad? God created the world and found good. Why this image of lamp? Is it to be sacrificed and feasted by the wolves? It’s quite terrifying. Or are we like Jesus, ‘the lamb of God’…………..? or simply that Lord is preparing us for a tough time, like rejection and assuring us his presence?
The mission entrusted was to announce the peace. We have to ask ourselves, do we in our daily human encounters establish ‘peace’, the peace desired by the Lord?
How to explain to the contemporary world that the Kingdom of God is very near? Are we called to be Jonas, to announce the conversion………….? What do I mean by the Kingdom of God?
Hope these questions and your personal answers be a help to put the gospel message in action. Happy feast day.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Jesus the Good Shepherd changes wolves into sheep, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"How then does [Jesus] command the holy apostles, who are innocent men and 'sheep,' to seek the company of wolves, and go to them of their own will? Is not the danger apparent? Are they not set up as ready prey for their attacks? How can a sheep prevail over a wolf? How can one so peaceful conquer the savageness of beasts of prey? 'Yes,' he says, 'for they all have me as their Shepherd: small and great, people and princes, teachers and students. I will be with you, help you, and deliver you from all evil. I will tame the savage beasts. I will change wolves into sheep, and I will make the persecutors become the helpers of the persecuted. I will make those who wrong my ministers to be sharers in their pious designs. I make and unmake all things, and nothing can resist my will.'" (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 61)
«The kingdom of God has drawn near to you»
Fr. Lluc TORCAL Monk of Santa Maria de Poblet
(Santa Maria de Poblet, Tarragona, Spain)
Today, in St. Luke's feast —the Evangelist of Christ's gentleness and meekness— the Church proclaims this Gospel where the main traits Christ's apostles must have, are established.
In the first place, the apostles have been directly called by the Lord, and mandated by him, to go out on his behalf: it is Jesus himself who calls whom He wants to entrust with a concrete mission! «The Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where He himself was to go» (Lk 10:1).
And, because the apostle has been delegated by the Lord, he is, on top of everything, entirely dependent upon him. «Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know» (Lk 10:4). Jesus' prohibition to his disciples mostly implies they must completely rely on their Lord Jesus, abandoning themselves to him, up to the point of leaving in his hands whatever is most essential for their lives: the Lord, who takes care of the iris flowers in the prairie and feeds the little birds, wants his disciples to look, in the first place, for the Kingdom of Heaven and not, instead, «to seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them» (Lk 12:29-30).
The apostles are still who prepare the path for their Lord, by announcing his peace and healing the sick, thus, evidencing the coming of his Kingdom. The apostle's task is, therefore, of paramount importance in and for the life of the Church, because the future welcome of the Master amongst men will depend upon it.
The best testimony of the feast of an Evangelist —who has narrated the announcement of the Good News—, is to make us think of the apostolic and evangelizing dimension of our Christian life.