Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Last Sunday’s Gospel sets the tone for today’s liturgy: Jesus wants His followers – you and I – to do what we can to spread the message of God’s Love. Today’s Gospel selection from St. Luke recounts Jesus sending out the early disciples by two’s, with little else than one another and the message of "peace". Super-simplicity…Wow!
There’s a sense of urgency in Jesus’ words: the harvest is great, but workers are few. He wanted people to experience God’s special love for each of them, and He likewise realized that many people would hesitate to take Him at His word – and so He called upon his disciples to "pound the pavements" of times past and present and use their gifts to help make this Good News known.
Each of us in our Baptism becomes a member of God’s family the Church, and thus helps further shape the mission outreach Jesus proclaims in today’s Gospel. We may not be dynamic street preachers, or great writers, or in other ways powerful or rich – but we each are called to witness Gospel values and live Jesus-centered lives. We each have a vocation that embraces either married life, single life, priestly/religious life. Our vocational life-witness includes an informed, enthusiastic, simple, respectful approach to daily events and our fellow human beings…based on the values proclaimed in the life of Jesus…celebrating God’s presence and love for each of us.
Today we’re encouraged to be open to "surprises", like the early 72 disciples: they went out simply, and came back rejoicing at what happened! Jesus reminded them…and us…it’s not what you do, it’s who you are. We’re likewise encouraged to be grateful for our faith – and on this 4th of July weekend, grateful for our gifts and responsibilities as U.S. citizens.
May God help each of us to joyfully and faithfully continue living out our vocations, witnessing to God’s Life and Love in our needy world. Yes, the harvest is great; our world needs God’s gift of peace and healing…and Jesus’ Love will transform us all!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.