July 3, 2010


14th Sunday - C (July 14, 2010)
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

The Consolations of Discipleship

Last week, we began reading the second part of Luke's Gospel, and we now find Jesus on his way to Jerusalem.

As he travels, "the Lord appoints seventy-two others whom he sends ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intends to visit." This plan gives the disciples the first consolation. The mission of the disciples is to prepare the way. A disciple does not have to do it all, from start to finish. A disciple only prepares the way for the master to come and complete the mission. (We, modern disciples, enjoy even a greater consolation in this area. The Risen Lord has already gone before us to wherever we are sent. He is the Lord of all creation, of heaven and earth).

Before the seventy-two departs, Jesus instructs them to pray to the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. The disciples always have somebody who backs them up. And that somebody is the master of the harvest. The disciples do not go out on their own initiative. The disciples are sent as laborers. And the master of the harvest takes care of both the laborers and the harvest. That gives them the second consolation.

Therefore, the disciples can be sent out "like lambs among wolves." And they do not need money bags, sacks, sandals. The mission is never easy, but they are never left to be on their own.

The third consolation comes with the mission itself. The seventy-two return rejoicing because of what they have been able to perform. They, however, forget that the greater consolation is the mission given to them to proclaim to the people, "the kingdom of God is at hand for you."

Yet, that consolation is not even the greatest. Jesus rewards them with the greatest consolation, even greater than the power over the spirits: "Your names are written in heaven."

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