THE GOSPEL, ACCORDING TO LUKE 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
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 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.'”
REFLECTION: Saint Luke, whom we honor today, was a true evangelist. He died at age 84. As an evangelist, St. Luke followed the inspiration from our Lord and was used to bring God’s saving message to the ends of the earth.
Saint Luke is identified in the New Testament as a physician and as a disciple of Saint Paul. Both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles are attributed to him.
Saint Luke is often spoken of as an evangelist to the gentiles. His Gospel was written in such a way that it did not presume a full understanding of the Jewish faith and customs. Therefore, it is believed to have been primarily written for those who are not of Jewish origin. Thus, the life and mission of Saint Luke must remind us that the Gospel needs to be shared with all people, especially with those who do not have a deep and sustaining relationship with God.
In today’s Gospel, Saint Luke tells us that Jesus sent seventy-two disciples “to every town and place he intended to visit.” Only Luke mentions the larger scale sending of seventy-two disciples. The other Gospels only mention the sending of the Twelve. Though many of these seventy-two disciples would have gone to Jewish territory, some would have unquestionably gone to non-Jewish territory. The mission of these seventy-two was to prepare everyone they encountered for the preaching of Jesus and for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
As we honor Saint Luke today, and read this passage from his Gospel, we are reminded that we are all sent by our Lord. We are sent to those who share our faith, such as family, friends, and fellow parishioners. We are sent to love them, and do all we can to help deepen their faith and love of God. But we are also called to share the Gospel, with those who do not yet know Jesus as their Savior. There are so many people we encounter every day who have never truly met our Lord.
This past Sunday morning in my visit to one of the Units at the juvenile hall where I’m the chaplain, I approached one youth who was all into a movie that he was watching alone on television. After introducing myself, I asked for a couple of minutes of his time. He asked, “what about?” I told him I wanted to share with him a word or two about God. He replied, “no thanks I don’t go to church.” I asked him if he thinks angels are real, at which he said, “yes.” So, I showed him a prayer card with a very nice art work of St. Michael The Archangel. He was attracted to the image and immediately sat-up and read the entire prayer in the back. He asked if he could have it, at which I said, of course. He shared with me about when he was a little boy, his grandmother would take him to Mass with her often. I stayed there listening to his story. We all have a story. I shared with him, about the importance of God’s friendship in our lives. Maybe, about 5-7 minutes total, but it was an opportunity the Lord brought me too, to work in His vineyard. Next time that I’m in Armando’s Unit, I will look him up, and share with him a little more about Jesus, and hopefully help him come back to God.
Are there people in your life, that God is calling you to reach out to? Who do you know that God may be calling you, to share the Gospel with?
ACTION FOR THE DAY: Reflect, today, upon the fact that the Gospel is meant for everyone. Speak to our Lord and tell Him that you are ready and willing to be used by Him to bring His saving message to others. As you do so, wait on the Lord, listen to His inspiration, and respond when He calls. Do not be afraid to be an evangelist like Saint Luke. Doing so, might make an eternal difference in someone’s life.