Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her—
that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from her glorious bosom.
For thus says the Lord:
I will extend prosperity to her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm,
and dandled on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bodies shall flourish like the grass;
and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants.
Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.”
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let the rebellious not exalt themselves.
Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for me.
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me.
Brothers and sisters:
May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything! As for those who will follow this rule—peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
In the Gospel, if we break down the Lord’s instructions to his seventy others, who were sent to go preach the Kingdom of heaven, there are principles that we can always see at work.
The first thing is that Jesus himself appoints his workers. He sends them not alone but in pairs for protection. He empowers them to bless people with his spirit of peace, to heal the sick, command the demons, and teach the message of the Kingdom of God. For this labor they are compensated with basic food and drink for their bodily needs.
Jesus’ workers do not have anything a robber would steal. It shows that they are not invested in the world. It gives people a chance to bless them. And they travel light and can move quickly if they have to in a dangerous world.
If they are rejected, they do not have to become sad or despairing, angry or vindictive or afraid. It is not a personal rejection, it is a rejection of God which means that things will not go well for the town. The disciples wipe off the dust from the streets of the town against them and keep on going.
It is a great motivation to keep trying to evangelize others when we know we have the same power in Jesus’ Name as the first disciples. We want everyone to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If we have witnessed the Good News to others and been rejected, we too can keep on going with our eyes on the heavenly reward that Jesus promised. Our names will be written in heaven.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask you send me out with faith in You to heal and deliver, and teach those who do not know You. May I trust that You will provide for my needs if I follow You and that others will receive Your Word through the power of Your Holy Spirit and in Your Name. Amen.