Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 458. Job 19:21-27. Psalm 27:7-8,8-9, 13-14. Luke
Luke’s is the Gospel that stresses universalism. Isaiah had done that so
well in the Second and Third Isaiah and now in the New Testament it is Luke
who has this message for us today. Jesus sends out a great number of
witnesses to the good news. Luke says they are 72 disciples who go into the
field of harvesting humans for the sake of the kingdom of God. All of the
villages and towns are to be visited and the gospel is to be proclaimed
both to those who are open and to those who refuse to listen. For the
latter, Jesus tells them to shake the dust from the feet and move on. All
are needed to cure, to exorcise, to proclaim the message. The fields are
ripe for this, that is, the fields of human beings who are searching for
God. The kingdom of God is at hand.
The passage is a rich one for those involved in religious congregations and
orders. They are called to invite others into the religious life which
attempts to live out the demands of discipleship that we heard of
yesterday. Each brother, sister, or priest is asked to be a part of this
inviting by example, prayer, and action. People who are looking for such a
commitment are invited to the table of the community and to their Mass and
prayers that the brothers, sisters, and priests have. Some orders have a
specific person who dedicates himself or herself to make the whole
community aware that we are all in this together. Jesus has also told us
that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. The message is
clear that the kingdom of God is near.
There seems to be the ethos dimension in this passage of Luke that is
telling us this inviting of others is urgent. Like the disciples we need
to go to other places and works to find those who may be called to such a
specific type of dedication as a disciple. We all have a limited amount of
years to work with the fields waiting to be harvested. We like all the
saints of the past and the present are called to invite others to join us.
May we not be discouraged in this important ministry. Amen.