A Missionary Church

Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”
(Luke 10:1-12)

Scripture Study

10:1 Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples Some manuscripts report 70 disciples; others have 72. Appointed in addition to the Twelve, these disciples serve as heralds of Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God.

10:2 The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few Describes the large number of people ready to receive Jesus’ kingdom message and the relatively few people available to share the message of the kingdom of God. to send out laborers for his harvest Sets the stage for the instructions that follow.

10:4 Carry no money bag They were to rely on God for their provisions.

10:6 If a peaceful person Refers to a believer. Peace is used throughout Luke in reference to God’s blessing (e.g., 2:14; 7:50; 8:48). it will return to you The initial greeting or blessing would not take effect on the house or its inhabitants.

10:7 Stay in the same house The Twelve should not be concerned with procuring better accommodations, which would be offensive to their hosts.

10:11 we shake off against you A sign of protest and a warning of impending judgment

10:12 on that day Refers to the day of judgment (see v. 14).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, our Gospel, taken from the magnificent 10th chapter of Luke’s Gospel, is a portrait of the Church. It shows us what Jesus wants his followers to be doing and how to do it. Listen to how the passage begins: “The Lord appointed a further seventy-two and sent them in pairs before him to every town and place he intended to visit”.

We are a missionary church. We are sent by the Lord to spread his word and do his work. The Christian Gospel is just not something that we are meant to cling to for our own benefit. Rather, it is like seed that we are meant to give away.

He sends them two by two. We do this work together, with others, in community. Ministers need people to support them, pray for them, talk to them, challenge them. Francis has an experience of God and then, within months, gathers people around him; Dominic, from the beginning, has brothers in his work. Mother Teresa attracts a number of her former students to join her in her mission. We don’t go it alone.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.