Scripture lessons: In the first reading, Isaiah announces the good news to the returned Babylonian exiles that the ruined and desolate Jerusalem will take care of them “as a mother comforts her baby son.” Isiah assures the returned Jews that they will live in the certainty of Yahweh’s promises of love, protection, prosperity, and salvation. In today’s second reading, Paul removes the confusion created by the Judaizers in the minds of the new Gentile Christians of Galatia. He clearly conveys the good news that it is Jesus’ death on the cross which brings one’s salvation and not Jewish heritage or practice of Torah laws. Paul reminds us that the mission of each member of the Church is to bear witness to the saving power of the cross of Christ through a life of sacrificial, self-giving service.
In today’ Gospel, Luke describes the fulfillment of the prophetic promise made by Isaiah in Jesus’ commissioning of 72 disciples to preach the Gospel or the good news of God’s love and salvation in towns and villages in preparation for his own visit. Jesus gives the paired disciples “travel tips” for their missionary journey. They must be walking witnesses of God’s providence, relying on the hospitality of others, living very simple lives, preaching the Good News and healing the sick. Today’s Gospel reminds us that we, the 1.5 billion Christians in the world today, have the mission of the 72, to preach the Gospel of Christ to the rest of world’s 4.5 billion non-Christians.
Let us start proclaiming the Gospel in our families by leading exemplary Christian lives…
- We need to continue the proclamation of the Gospel: Just as Jesus, in today’s Gospel, gave instructions to the seventy-two missionaries, he also gives each one of us a mission to carry out. As faithful Christians, we should attract others to the Faith by leading exemplary lives, just as a rose silently attracts people by its beauty and fragrance. This is our job and our responsibility. We must not miss the current opportunities to be apostles through our words and deeds in everyday life.
- We need to avoid giving the counter-witness of practicing the “supermarket Catholicism” of our politicians who publicly proclaim their “Catholicism” and yet support abortion, gay marriage, human cloning, and experimentation with human embryos. Nor should we be “armchair Catholics,” “cafeteria Catholics” or “Sunday Catholics” who bear counter-witness to Christ through our lives.
- Let us start proclaiming the Gospel in our families by leading exemplary Christian lives, in which spouses love and respect each other, raise their children in the spirit of obedience and service, discipline them with forgiving love and teach them through persistent example to pray, love, and help others by sharing their blessings.
(Credit goes to Fr. Tony Kadavil )