Father Daniel Ray, LC
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After this the Lord appointed seventy
others and sent them on ahead of him in
pairs to every town and place where he himself
intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is
plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the
Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into
his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending
you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.
Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no
one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first
say, ´Peace to this house!´ And if anyone is
there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on
that person; but if not, it will return to
you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking
whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid.
Do not move about from house to house. Whenever
you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat
what is set before you; cure the sick who
are there, and say to them, ´The kingdom of
God has come near to you.´"
Lord, I believe that you are present here as
I turn to you in prayer. I trust and have
confidence in your desire to give me every grace
I need to receive today. Thank you for your love,
thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I
give you my life and my love in return.
Petition: Lord, increase my faith so that
in any trial I will trust in you.
1. Amazing Graces: Luke, whose feast we celebrate in
today’s liturgy, is the only gentile author in the New
Testament. It was part of God’s design that he
be chosen by God to be the author of one
of the Gospels and the Book of Acts. “Who
am I to receive such a grace?” Luke might
easily have said to himself, marveling at the gratuitousness with
which he received his role within the Church. An
honest look at the great grace we have received
in being called to be part of God’s Church should
bring us to say the same thing: Who are
we to receive such an incredible blessing?! Why did we
receive this grace and our next-door neighbor did not?
Why have so many souls in the history of
the world never had the opportunity to know about Christ,
but we have? Only one answer comes close. God
wants it, and it is part of his plan
of love for all mankind.
2. More Hands
on Deck: Here is a true situation at a
parish on the West Coast: After five draining hours in
the confessional, the priest climbs out to verify that
no one else is in line. This is the
normal Sunday morning routine there. During those hours the priest
was witness to several powerful conversions, souls finding peace
after years of struggle, other saintly souls whose delicate
consciences were cause for admiration, and still others moving
along with a “more-or-less” attitude in their response to
God, but who were helped by the grace of reconciliation.
Many more confessions could be heard, but there simply
aren’t enough priests to meet the need. The more
confession is offered, the more the faithful take advantage
of the opportunity, and the more the Church grows in
holiness. Do we pray that God send more laborers
to the harvest?
3. A Lamb without Sandals:
Christ’s comparison almost seems cruel: “I am sending you
out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry
no purse, no bag, no sandals….” If he considers the
apostles to be like lambs, why on earth would
he send them among wolves? As always, Christ wants
to stretch the faith of the apostles. “My Father’s providence
will take care of you and protect you” is
the message he wants them to accept and live.
Later he tells them to take these items with them
(cf. Luke 22:36), but he also reminds them, “‘When
I sent you out with no purse or bag or
sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘Nothing.’” He
wants us to rely on him, not on our
own skills or talents. While we always need to apply
all our God-given human intelligence and prudence, we still
need to rely on God to bless our work
and fill in for what is lacking.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, so much of
what I’m faced with each day seems to be beyond
my capabilities, yet I see clearly that you want
me to continue pushing forward, trusting in your providence.
This isn’t easy! Help be to have confidence in you.
Resolution: If faced with an obstacle
today, I will pray for God’s assistance rather than
rely only on myself.