Lk 10:1-12, 17-20
The gospel from last Sunday spoke to us about being called. Today one of the main themes is about discipleship.
We often hear stories about the twelve apostles but we know that Jesus had many more close followers beside the apostles. In the gospel for today Jesus sends out seventy-two disciples to all the villages he will eventually visit. These disciples are to go without money or any other kind of exterior help. They are to be totally dependent on the people they stay with or meet along the way. They are to preach that the Kingdom of God is at hand and offer healing and help in the name of Jesus. If they are rejected by those they come to help they are to leave the area and move on to the next place. They achieve success but also experience difficulties.
Discipleship today is not all that different. Each of us is called by reason of our baptism to make the Reign of God present in the here and now. We preach this sometimes with words, but more often, by the way we live our lives as committed followers of Jesus.
In our world that is rife with division, prejudice, racism and all other kinds of sinful unkindness, we are called to be compassionate, kind and loving. We are to be the voice and hands of Jesus at all times. This includes our own homes, places of employment, places where we shop or are entertained, and all other places and circumstances where we find ourselves. It can be as simple as a kind word to the check-out girl, helping someone carry a package, opening a door for someone, a smile freely given, welcoming a new neighbor, challenging negative comments or actions.
Imagine what our country would be like if all followers of Christ did these actions on a daily basis. We could change our world!
The words of the Gospel Acclamation make the message of discipleship very clear. “Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” If we live in such a way that Christ’s peace is deep within us and the words of Christ are the guidelines by which we live, we can make a difference. We can be the true, committed disciples sent out to change our world just as the seventy-two did in their time and place.
What prevents you from being the words and hands of Jesus in your daily life?
What is one positive way you can be Jesus for others?