Daily Gospel - Oct. 18, 2018
October 18, 2018
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.'"
In our first reading from the second letter to Timothy, the author suggests that it is St Paul who is writing and that he has nobody with him now except Luke. The text seems slightly odd for today’s feast because it doesn’t say a whole lot to us in the first paragraph – it’s almost ‘housekeeping stuff’ on the author’s part – but it does tell us of Luke’s role in the spread of the Good News and how he came to know much of what he wrote. The evangelist was a companion of Paul in the latter’s second and third missionary journeys. The author also tells of an occasion when Paul had to defend himself and how only God was there to support him, but that this enabled him to continue preaching to the pagans. The Psalm reminds us that the friends of the Lord make him known to others.
In the gospel, the Lord sends out seventy-two disciples to preach and cure in his name in the places which he himself was to visit. In this way they were to make it easier for the Lord to enter people’s hearts and lives. We are all reminded that we each have a role to play in the spread of the Gospel by how we live and act, and that we too must open a way into people’s hearts so that they can see the Lord’s presence in their own lives. Tradition at one time thought that Luke was a member of this seventy-two, but this is without foundation.
Lord God, help me to understand that true affection is not that which as it gives feels it merits return. May I avoid being selfish and stubborn; and with my affections give peace and joy. Amen.