Read Luke 10:1-12,17-20
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. Read More…
Meet Sister Mary Cluderay
Sister Mary was born in Leeds in 1930, the seventh child in a family of eight. Read More…
As we listen to the Gospel reading for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are immediately aware that Jesus is speaking directly to all his followers. In fact, he is speaking to you and me. We are called to join with the seventy-two disciples.
St. Luke uses the words: “The Lord appointed these” to work for the Kingdom of God. So as we begin this new day let us set out to work for building this Kingdom. Jesus now extends his mission as he appoints these new followers including each one of us!
We sense from reading the accounts of Jesus’ work that he is beginning his journey to Jerusalem and he calls out to us: “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest, since the workers are few.” We sense the joyous conviction of Jesus as he says: “Start off now.” He describes vividly the reality of our journey, its dangers and demands. Can we see the underlying message of the need to be free of possessions? Jesus emphasizes the essentials that we must carry - inner peace and a willingness to seek God in others. He himself, with his Apostles, lived in this way from the beginning of his public ministry. We understand that fidelity to Jesus’ principles will help us to “cure those who are sick” and will remind us that “the Kingdom of God is very near.”
It is important to reflect on the lessons that Jesus is teaching his followers. The essential ingredient for which we all must strive, if we are to be his true followers, is belief in the nearness of God.
We know that Jesus sought out intimate silent encounters with his Father. This experience, often repeated and always new, was not an obligation added to his daily work. In the words of Jose Pagola, “It is what the heart of the Son longs for, the well he needs to drink from to nourish his being.”
As we listen to the words of today’s Gospel, we can see this strength coming from God the Father through Jesus to each of those who wish to build the Kingdom of God, whether consciously or not. The Gospel tells of the joy experienced by the seventy-two, but even this well-earned emotion, says Jesus, is not the real answer. “Rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.”
Each day we see and hear of people who are doing the work of God in their daily lives. There are countless examples of goodness, compassion, deeds of healing, forgiveness, giving one’s life in helping others. We could say that the strength of God’s Spirit is made tangible when these signs of sheer goodness are brought into being and God’s presence becomes very near.
For Jesus, each moment of each day reflects his intimate encounter with God the Father. At the end of his conversation with the seventy-two, he calls out “I give thanks to you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, because you have hidden these things from clever and intelligent people and revealed them to children.”
If we are to be true followers of Jesus we need to begin and continue with absolute trust in God the prayer which comes from the depths of our being. We are assured that, in the words of Isaiah, “The Lord God has given me a disciple’s tongue. So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple.”
Suggested prayer for the week:
“Whatever house you go into, let your first words be ‘Peace be to this house.’”