Gospel LK 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 laborer 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."
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved Spouse.
Providence! This is the word that comes into my heart with this passage. Learning how to live very simply, utterly dependent upon the Father, dependent upon His Providence and receptive to His Providence. In our culture, we learn very early on “to think ahead, to be proactive, to not be caught off guard, to be prepared. Its seems almost counter intuitive for us, to leave the house “without money, sack or sandals” and yet our Lord is challenging us to Trust in Him, to be utterly dependent upon Him. But does that mean I should walk into the grocery store with bare feet, fill up my cart with groceries and to expect the person in line in front of me to pick up the tab and if not, conclude that God is not providing? No. Yet how do we distinguish between this and true abandonment to God’s providence?
It is striking that the Lord uses two images to describe the Apostles: “ask the Master of the harvest to send out laborers” and “behold, I am sending you out like lambs.” Laborers and lambs...not two images that seem to initially go together and yet perhaps this is exactly the dynamic tension in the call of every disciple. To have always the discipline and diligence of a field laborer and yet to remember always that we have the dependency of lambs. To work but to work as one who is always poor, who remains always utterly dependent on the good shepherd.
Perhaps what our Lord is saying has something to do with being receptive and dependent upon Him in order to do the work He has given us to do for the kingdom of God. At times we can all feel our deficit and this is where He longs for us to Trust in His Beneficence.
What conversion of mind and heart is the Lord asking of me? What is difficult to surrender because, deep down, I feel the need to keep providing for myself, in fear of how I will be if the Lord does not provide it? What’s keeping me from just receiving what He desires to give me and being grateful for it?