July 3, 2022, Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 66:10-14c Gal. 6:14-18 Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 or 10:1-9
In today's gospel we hear Jesus appoint seventy-two disciples to go ahead of him “ to every place and town he intended to visit.“ I guess this is what the marketing and advertising world would call an “advance team”. What a wise move on the part of Jesus, what a strategic thinker he was. His message, that the kingdom of God is at hand, was so important and so countercultural that he knew people might need to be prepared in order to hear it effectively .
Like most of us, I occasionally experience individuals coming to my front door to hand me a leaflet and ask if they can talk to me about their religion. I respect their commitment… given the number of doors they must have slammed in their faces! That kind of “cold call” would be very difficult for me to do. More importantly, I don't think that is the kind of evangelization most of us are called to do.
But I do believe that as disciples of the Lord we are called to “Prepare the Way of the Lord”, as that old song from “Godspell” tells us. What does our work as the Lord's “advance team” look like?
I think that when we live the reign of God in our own life, it shows. And it prepares others to realize the movement of God in their own lives before any God-talk happens. When we stand with others for justice, when we treat everyone with respect, when kindness and tenderness characterize all our relationships, when we exude joy , when we volunteer in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter… These are the behaviors that lead another to say, "I want what you have.”
And if that explicit question never comes? The gospel answers that possibility. Even the seventy-two were not guaranteed success. We are only the advance team. God is in charge. The most important thing is to be faithful to the reign of God in our own lives.
by: Pat Schnee