Weekly Missionary Reflection
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 03 July 2022
Isa. 66:10-14c; Ps. 66:1-3a,4-5,6-7a,16,20; Gal. 6:14-18; Luk. 10:1-12,17-20 (long) or Luk. 10:1-9 (short)
Luke is the “Gospel of Ministry”: he placed great emphasis on the Word and its proclamation. Today’s Gospel shows nicely the pattern of mission and ministry of the disciples. First, 70 disciples were appointed in pairs (v. 1). They were the group of disciples, apart from the twelve. The number 70 could be real or just a symbol: referring to the total number of missionaries in the early church, at the time of Luke. The number 70 also corresponds to the number of nations in the world, based on Gen. 10. The mission and proclamation of the church are for all nations, households, and cities. The mission is carried out together, it is not a personal adventure or experiment, so no one can claim it as a personal achievement. Being sent in pairs affirms the aspect of working together and supporting each other among the preachers. Going in pairs will prevent unhealthy competition among them. Sent in pairs is also for the sake of the legitimacy of the mission and proclamation. It corresponds to Torah law: a charge shall stand only on the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deu. 19:15).
Second, the spirit of the mission and proclamation of the disciples is to bring “Shalom”, peace from the Lord. Peace is not a mere word, instead, it is real action. They proclaim and cure the sick (v. 9). That is God’s Kingdom presented by the Teacher, and now continued and spread by His followers throughout any layers and context of real-life (house, v. 5-7 and town, v. 8-12).
Third, the mission and proclamation of the disciples are not sowing seeds, but reaping harvest (v. 2). They are the “laborers” sent to reap God’s abundant harvest. Harvesting means an increasing load of jobs, requiring more workers. In other words, workers in God’s field will never be sufficient, there will always be requirements for workers. You and I are called to be the workers in God’s field, instead of just being passive initiators or stage preachers.
Fourth, the urgency and workload in God’s field demand a quick response. All Lord’s messengers should move fast, without wasting time for chit-chat greetings. They proclaim and bring God’s shalom, it is not a common shalom. Therefore, they don’t need to be bothered or worried about the budget and means of proclamation. Gospel preachers should be satisfied with the means and hospitality from the people welcoming them, without seeking another comfort (v. 7).
Fifth, the Christian mission will not be free from danger and threat. You and I are like lambs sent among the wolves. However, danger and threat will not stop our ministry. The Gospel has to be told and presented anywhere. Rejection and threat will not have a bad impact on the Gospel, but on those who reject the Gospel’s preachers. They will not dwell in God’s Kingdom, nor receive and have true peace. For them, God’s coming will be the time of trial and punishment (v. 10-12).
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church this month:
For Universal Churches: Respecting the legacy of the elderly
We pray for the elderly; unto them, we can revive the living root and valuable legacy; may their experience and wisdom be able to assist the youth to face their future with full hope and responsibility.
For Indonesian Churches’ intention: For the anxiety of the youth
May the Church pay special attention to the youth who are depressed, anxious, losing hope and direction for their future due to the impact of this pandemic.