14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Isaiah 66:10-14
II: Galatians 6:14-18
Gospel Luke 10:1-12,17-20
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 "When you enter a house, first say, `Peace to this house.' 6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you.' 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 `Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." 18 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Interesting Details (v.1) "After this": after entering a Samaritan village and being rejected by the Samaritans (9:51-53), Jesus continues His journey to Jerusalem where His exodus - suffering, death, resurrection and ascension - is to take place. "seventy-two others": according to the rabbinic teaching there were seventy-two nations in the world (Gen10:2-31). Luke probably means the universal mission of the church after the departure of Jesus. "Two by two": being sent in pairs, Jesus' disciples are to give each others mutual support and to bear witness to the truth of their formal testimony (Deut19:15, Mt18:16). (v.3) "lambs in the midst of wolves": a reminder that missionaries may be defenseless before hostile peoples, it also recalls the prophecy of Isaiah that the lamb will lie down with the wolf. (Is 11:6, 65:25). (v.4) "carry no purse ...salute no one on the road": because of the urgency of the mission, the missionaries are to be detached from material possessions, not to take anything along, not even be distracted by the customary greetings. (v.17)"demons": recall Jesus' power over the demons in Galilee (8:26-39). Jesus gave the seventy-two disciples the same power that was given the Twelve (9:1-2). (v.19) "serpents and scorpions": were the sources of physical evil in Palestinian life and the forces of destruction (Acts 28:1-6). (v.20) "your names are written in heaven": the disciples themselves have received the gift of salvation.
One Main Point The disciples are successful because they are instruments of God's grace. That is the real reason for rejoicing.
Reflections How does Jesus ask you to spread the Gospel in the world today? What obstacles do you see in your path? What do you need to overcome these obstacles? Have you ever felt like a lamb walking among wolves? What did you learn from those experiences?
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