Prayer – O Lord, choose me and send me wherever your word needs to be preached.
Imagination – (Picture Jesus preparing seventy-two more disciples to go to the villages.)
Other gospels (Mark and Matthew) record Jesus sending the Twelve. Only Luke mentions this larger number of seventy-two. Obviously, the early Church communities sent out large numbers of missionaries. The instructions given for the seventy-two are almost identical to those already given to the Twelve.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
The Lord appointed seventy-two and sent them two by two before him where he was to visit. He said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest. Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither walking staff nor traveling bag. Greet no one along the way. Whatever house you enter say, “Peace be to this house.” If there is a peaceable man, your peace will rest upon him. If not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what is put before you. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not move from house to house.
Heal the sick and say, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand.’ If the city does not receive you, then leave, saying ‘We shake the dust of this city from our feet as testimony against you.’ Yet, the Kingdom is at hand. I assure you, on that day, the fate of Sodom will not be as severe as for that town.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus organizes. He plans. He wastes no time.
- These seventy-two will go to definite villages and Jesus will follow.
- They will face great hostilities – like lambs going among wolves.
- The task is very urgent. There is no time for greeting people and having a chat.
- The disciple is a missionary, a preacher with an important message.
- They must be disciplined, content with whatever food or housing is available.
- If they preach, the village must accept the message. Otherwise, Jesus will not come and they will lose the Kingdom.
- How dreadful will be their punishment on the day of Jesus’ Second Coming.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, you have a plan for me, a place in your Kingdom and a task to be accomplished.
- Give me courage against the hostility I will face.
- O Jesus, the whole world must hear and I must speak. How urgent is my task.
- O Lord, I will make any sacrifice and pay any price to bring your word.
- The people must listen. They must respond.
- O Jesus, I will do all I can. Give me your Holy Spirit.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will look for people who need my words about the Kingdom.
- I will seek out the right way to preach to them. I will see the urgency to spread Jesus’ word.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Say to them, “The reign of God is at hand.”