July 3, 2022: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Luke 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 laborers 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.”
I love Jesus’ common sense approach displayed in this reading … to me, he is saying: “Don’t try to go it alone; go in twos so you’ll have support and companionship.” “If your message is not accepted, move on; don’t bang your head against the wall trying to persuade people.” I also find it interesting that Jesus says, “do not slink away if they don’t accept your message; speak your truth and let the town know how you feel, and leave!” Again, it is about the message and not the messenger.
I want to be aware this week of my own efforts to witness Christ to others. Do I tend to be a “lone ranger?” Do I know when to quit and move on? Do I speak my truth, no matter how difficult?