After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, `Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (Luke 10: 1-12)
Congratulations! Today you not only learn about winning your jackpot but your spiritual genealogy as well. Oh, there is one other clause. To claim the jackpot, you have a mission to accomplish.
I am sure that in this weary world, that is good news. Our world needs good news. People are caught in the cycle of a pandemic. They are weary, intimidated by the power of secular culture, and, particularly in the United States, they are often contentious with each other. People feel helpless in face of the pervasive violence and a sub-culture of dehumanizing poverty while the stock market continues to climb. All of this makes your mission even more vital.
But you need a strong network and sense of family to carry it out. That is where your spiritual genealogy comes in. You see both you and I are part of a chain of witnesses that goes back to Christ and the first 72 he sent out. But it is even more than that. Because none of us is a number. We’re all a beloved name to God and to the saints. He wills for us that we might live in eternal communion with Him. He wills for us that we know His father’s love. He wills for us to know His peace. How’s that for winning the jackpot?
So, what is the mission? Well, it might seem intimidating at first but it won’t be as you work through the mission. You see, Jesus Christ wants you and I to build His kingdom on earth!! WHAT?
The kingdom of God comes into being wherever God reigns, and wherever God’s will is done. The kingdom of God is present in persons through whom God acts. It is no surprise that in the early church the kingdom of God soon came to be identified with Christ himself. God reigns in Christ. God’s will is done in Christ. God acts through Christ. To proclaim the kingdom of God is the same as to proclaim Christ. In fact, the church from its beginning, by proclaiming the good news of Christ, was being faithful to his mandate to proclaim the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God has come upon us if God reigns in our hearts, if God’s will is done in us, if God acts through us. Sometimes one can sense God’s presence in a person or in a community.God gives us his life-giving word that we may have abundant life in him. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and plainly to others.
Even though we are urged to action, it is equally clear that by our own strength we cannot subdue the evil powers of this world and cure its ills. So that we do not forget to trust in God’s power in all we do, Jesus tells us to “carry no money bags, no sack, no sandals.” We will be able to continue Christ’s mission in the particular circumstances of our lives with audacious hope only if we believe that whatever good we do; it is by the finger of God. And when this happens, we can say with Christ, “The kingdom of God has come upon you.”
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, may the joy and truth of the Gospel transform my life that I may witness it to those around me. Grant that I may spread your truth and merciful love wherever I go.
Every single one of us is called to be a missionary, a few of us go to faraway lands, the rest of us to our own locales, where, although they have heard of Jesus and most have been baptized, they really haven’t lived in or for that kingdom and for that King. Jesus needs us all to live up to this vocation and mission because there is such a harvest waiting and so few who are harvesting. The fields, he said elsewhere, are ripe, which means that unless we got out now to reap the harvest much of the “produce” will perish. If we don’t do our part, people for whom Christ died won’t experience his salvation, his friendship, his kingdom.