Daily Meditation: "The kingdom of God has drawn near to you"
Gospel text (Lc 10,1-9):
The Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where He himself was to go. And He said to them, "The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.
Whatever house you enter, first bless them saying: ‘Peace to this house’. If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house. When they welcome you in any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you’".
"The kingdom of God has drawn near to you"
Today, in St. Luke's feast —the Evangelist of Christ's gentleness and meekness— the Church proclaims this Gospel where the main traits Christ's apostles must have, are established.
In the first place, the apostles have been directly called by the Lord, and mandated by him, to go out on his behalf: it is Jesus himself who calls whom He wants to entrust with a concrete mission! "The Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where He himself was to go" (Lk 10:1).
And, because the apostle has been delegated by the Lord, he is, on top of everything, entirely dependent upon him. "Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know" (Lk 10:4). Jesus' prohibition to his disciples mostly implies they must completely rely on their Lord Jesus, abandoning themselves to him, up to the point of leaving in his hands whatever is most essential for their lives: the Lord, who takes care of the iris flowers in the prairie and feeds the little birds, wants his disciples to look, in the first place, for the Kingdom of Heaven and not, instead, "to seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them" (Lk 12:29-30).
The apostles are still who prepare the path for their Lord, by announcing his peace and healing the sick, thus, evidencing the coming of his Kingdom. The apostle's task is, therefore, of paramount importance in and for the life of the Church, because the future welcome of the Master amongst men will depend upon it.
The best testimony of the feast of an Evangelist —who has narrated the announcement of the Good News—, is to make us think of the apostolic and evangelizing dimension of our Christian life.
Fr. Lluc TORCAL Monk of Santa Maria de Poblet
(Santa Maria de Poblet, Tarragona, Spain)
Audio: October 18th: St. Luke, evangelist