(Reflections For July 7, 2019)
Gospel: (Luke 10:1-12,17-20)
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others 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 havest. 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…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.’”
In the gospel the disciples are “sent ahead” of Jesus, not so much with a mission to do as to be ambassadors for Jesus. The respect and honor that are due Jesus are extended also to Jesus’ disciples and this is how God’s kingdom is “at hand.” When God’s kingdom is present there is peace and healing. We do everything because we are disciples of Jesus and act in his name. It is in Christ’s presence through us that peace and joy are spread. Mission is being sent to be Christ for others. (Living Liturgy, p.168)
“I am sure that many of you have discovered in your work for the poor that, while their material needs are often great, their spiritual needs may be greater still. I am sure, too, that many of you have discovered that on many occasions, when the poor present a problem to you or seek your advice, you come eventually to realize that their real need is not your advice, but rather the sympathy of your listening heart. Often I feel that I have given advice to people when what they were really asking for was understanding and compassion. They were seeking a listening heart rather than a speaking bureau of information.” (McCullen, Deep Down Things,p. 538-9)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence.)
How have you found that your service indeed demands a “listening heart?”
O God, give us the grace to be your disciples:
When the poor are lonely,
-may we bring your presence.
When the poor are burdened by worries,
-may we bring comfort in your love.
When the poor are sick or in pain,
-may we bring your healing and strength.
When the poor come to us,
-may they find a listening heart.