Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist - Wednesday, 18th October 2017
Reading 1, Second Timothy 4:9-17
9 Make every effort to come and see me as soon as you can.
12 I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
13 When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and the scrolls, especially the parchment ones.
15 Be on your guard against him yourself, because he has been bitterly contesting everything that we say.
16 The first time I had to present my defence, no one came into court to support me. Every one of them deserted me -- may they not be held accountable for it.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18
Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
10 All your creatures shall thank you, Yahweh, and your faithful shall bless you.
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingship and tell of your might,
13 Your kingship is a kingship for ever, your reign lasts from age to age. Yahweh is trustworthy in all his words, and upright in all his deeds.
18 He is close to all who call upon him, all who call on him from the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Luke 10:1-9
"The kingdom of God has come near to you"
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself would be visiting.
2 And he said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to do his harvesting.
3 Start off now, but look, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4 Take no purse with you, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road.
5 Whatever house you enter, let your first words be, "Peace to this house!"
7 Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house.
8 Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is put before you.
9 Cure those in it who are sick, and say, "The kingdom of God is very near to you."
The Gospel of the Lord.
We are called to speak and witness in God's name.
Reflection: What is the significance of Jesus appointing seventy disciples to the ministry of the word? Seventy was a significant number in biblical times. Moses chose seventy elders to help him in the task of leading the people through the wilderness. The Jewish Sanhedrin, the governing council for the nation of Israel, was composed of seventy members. In Jesus' times seventy was held to be the number of nations throughout the world. Jesus commissioned the seventy to a two-fold task - to speak in his name and to act with his power.
Jesus gave his disciples instructions for how they were to carry out their ministry. They must go and serve as people without guile, full of charity (selfless giving in love) and peace, and simplicity. They must give their full attention to the proclamation of God's kingdom and not be diverted by other lesser things. They must travel light - only take what was essential and leave behind whatever would distract them - in order to concentrate on the task of speaking the word of the God. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting reward or payment. "Poverty of spirit" frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God's provision. The Lord Jesus wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves.
God gives us his life-giving word that we may have abundant life in him. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and plainly to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the Gospel by word and example to those around you?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, may the joy and truth of the Gospel transform my life that I may witness it to those around me. Grant that I may spread your truth and merciful love wherever I go." Amen.
Be a sower of God's word of peace and mercy.