29th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2Tim 4: 10:17b
Beloved: Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching. At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.
Gospel: Lk 10:1-9
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.’”
BLESSEDNESS OF THE POOR: Luke in the gospel, talks of the poor and social justice. He is the one who tells the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man who ignored him. Luke is the one who uses “Blessed are the poor” instead of “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in the beatitudes. Only in Luke’s gospel do we hear Mary’s Magnificat where she proclaims that God “has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty”. In contrast the world today seems to measure the worth of the person and nation from the perspective of the power of money. Poor finds little respect and importance. The Feast of St. Luke calls us for a renewed commitment to the poor.
Prayer: Lord, may your Word transform the world.
THE MISSION OF CHRIST: The mission of Christ requires total commitment. Due to this, few fully respond to this mission. In the first reading, St. Paul complains how his fellow brethren left him for the mission, though, he forgives them. As Paul went on in the mission, God gave him strength so that the Good News would reach the gentiles. In the same way, Jesus has only seventy-two disciples for His mission. The gospel states that the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few. Jesus orders the disciples not to carry anything for the mission but rather, rely on Him only. They are to preach peace wherever they go. Being an ambassador of peace is a great responsibility. It is such a missionary zeal that marks one as a disciple of the Lord. Let us eagerly accept this responsibility.
PRAYER: Lord, So, give us the grace to accept the responsibility to be peace instruments, and to be ushers in your Kingdom.
THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL: Gospel of Luke reflects clearly the sentiments of joy. The Angel greeted Mary saying “rejoice!”; the visit of Mary made John the Baptist to leap with joy in the womb of Elizabeth and Mary in return proclaimed with joy the greatness of the Lord. The seventy-two disciples returned full of joy after being sent by Jesus to announce the good news; Jesus filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit thanked the Father; after the resurrection the Apostles returned to Jerusalem full of joy. “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus,” affirmed Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Sadness is incompatible with the Gospel. Joy is a sign of faith. Jesus is the reason for our joy. We are called to be witnesses of Christian joy to the world.