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Thursday, 30 June 2022 14:35

Missionaries of the Kingdom

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” (luke 10:1-12)

Reflection - Missionaries of the Kingdom

On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus teaches the disciples the meaning of ‘following’ him. Part of that following is the proclamation of the Kingdom - drawing attention to the reign of God in the world and in its peoples.

There is a sense of simplicity and urgency as Jesus commissions the seventy-two to spread the Good News of God’s involvement in human life.

The Gospel, of course, is not about an historical 72 people being sent out. It is about the mission of every disciple of Jesus. Spreading the message of the Gospel is always to be done in a non-threatening way – by winning over hearts and minds through good example and good living. It is best accomplished by making oneself vulnerable and keeping oneself focussed on the mission rather than on comfort. Real rejoicing is not to be had in the conversion of great numbers of people, but in knowing that one has done the word and the will of God.

Disciples can’t afford to be weighed down by too many things or lost in idle conversation (gossip). They are to be bearers of the peace of God - a peace which heals, strengthens, soothes, frees and restores. Difficulties will be encountered, but the disciples will not be overcome.

That is the cause for the rejoicing sung about in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah. God is at work among his people like a nurturing mother and a flowing river bringing nourishment, peace, comfort and delight. People flourish when the presence of God is recognised and welcomed.

May that presence be always seen and felt in us.

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