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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Isa 66:10-14c): Thus says the Lord: Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her! Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts! For thus says the Lord: Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort. When you see this, your heart shall rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass; the Lord's power shall be known to his servants.
Responsorial Psalm: 65
R/. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God, «How tremendous are your deeds!».

«Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you, sing praise to your name!». Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.

He has changed the sea into dry land; through the river they passed on foot; therefore let us rejoice in him. He rules by his might forever.

Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness!
2nd Reading (Gal 6:14-18): Brothers and sisters: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
Versicle before the Gospel (Col 3:16a): Alleluia. Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 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. 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."

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power to 'tread upon serpents' and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

“Go on your way”

+ Dr. Josef ARQUER (Berlin, Germany)

Today, we look at some who, in the crowd, have sought to come to Jesus Christ. He is talking while watching the fields full of ears: "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Lk 10:2). Suddenly, looking onto them, straight in the eyes, he points out a few, one by one: you, and you and you. Up to seventy two…

Astonished, they hear him say go, two by two, into every town and places where He will go. Perhaps some have answered: 'But, Lord, I only came to hear you, because it's so beautiful what you are saying!

The Lord warns them against the dangers that lurk them. "Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” And using custom images in the parables, he adds: "Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals" (Lk 10:3-4). Interpreting the expressive language of Jesus: -Put aside human means. I send you and that is enough. Even though it feels far away, stay close, I accompany you.

Unlike the Twelve, called by the Lord to remain with Him, the seventy-two then returned to their families and their work. They lived there with what they had found with Jesus: to bear witness, each in its place, just helping those to come closer to Jesus Christ.

The adventure ends well: "The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing" (Lk 10:17). Sitting around Jesus Christ, they shared the experience of that couple of days in which they discovered the beauty of being a witness.

When considering today that distant episode, we see that it is not just an historical memory. We are taking the hint: we can be next to Christ present in the Church and worship Him in the Eucharist. Pope Francis encourages us to "bring Christ to man, and lead to an encounter with Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life, truly present in the Church and contemporary in every man."

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “He sent his disciples out to preach two by two, because the precept of charity is twofold-love of God and of one's neighbour; between less than two there can be no charity” (St. Gregory the Great)

  • “St Luke highlighted the disciples' enthusiasm at the good results of their mission. May this Gospel reawaken in all the baptized the awareness that they are missionaries of Christ” (Benedict XVI)

  • “(…) The Twelve and the other disciples share in Christ's mission and his power, but also in his lot. By all his actions, Christ prepares and builds his Church.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 765)

Other comments

“I am sending you”

Fr. Iñaki BALLBÉ i Turu (Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Church contemplates how from those following the Lord that had been called by him, besides the Twelve, there were also numerous disciples. From all those disciples the Lord chooses seventy two for a concrete mission. He expects from them the same as from the Apostles, namely, total generosity and complete abandonment to Divine Providence.

The Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, in its decree Apostolicam actuositatem, reminds us that from the Baptism each Christian is called by Christ to carry out a mission. The Church, in the name of our Lord, “earnestly entreats all the laity in the Lord to answer gladly, nobly, and promptly the more urgent invitation of Christ in this hour and the impulse of the Holy Spirit. Younger persons should feel that this call has been directed to them especially and they should respond to it eagerly and generously. Through this holy synod, the Lord renews His invitation to all the laity to come closer to Him every day, recognizing that what is His is also their own (Phil. 2:5), to associate themselves with Him in His saving mission. Once again He sends them into every town and place where He will come (cf. Luke 10:1) so that they may show that they are co-workers in the various forms and modes of the one apostolate of the Church, which must be constantly adapted to the new needs of our times. Ever productive as they should be in the work of the Lord, they know that their labor in Him is not in vain (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58)” (n. 33).

Christ wants to instill in his disciples the apostolic boldness; this is why He says “I am sending you”, to which St. John Chrysostom comments: “This should suffice to cheer you up; this would suffice to give you confidence and not be afraid of those who attack you.” The boldness of the Apostles and disciples came from the certainty that they had been chosen and sent out by God himself. They acted the same as Peter firmly explained at the Sanhedrin, in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, “nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12).