Prayer – O Lord, send me wherever your word needs to be preached.
Imagination – (Picture Jesus preparing 72 more disciples to go to the villages.)
Three gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), record Jesus sending the Twelve. Only Luke mentions this larger number of 72. Obviously, the early Church communities sent out large numbers of missionaries. The instructions given for the 72 are almost identical to those already given to the 12.
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. But know 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 72 prepare villages for Jesus to follow.
- The disciples will face great hostilities – like lambs among wolves.
- The task is urgent, with no time for greeting people and passing the time of day.
- The disciple is a missionary, a preacher with an important message.
- He must be disciplined; content with whatever food or housing is available.
- If he preaches, 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 the Kingdom.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, you have a plan for me, a place in your Kingdom and a task to be accomplished.
- Prepare me, Jesus, for the hostility I will face when I speak of your Kingdom.
- O Jesus, the whole world must hear and I must speak. How urgent is my task.
- O Lord, I will make any sacrifice. 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 to hear about the Kingdom.
- I will seek out the right way to preach to them.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Say to them, “The reign of God is at hand.”