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The mission of the seventy-two

Gospel reading: Mark 4:26-34
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two other 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 his 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.’ ”

The sending of 72 other disciples to serve as an “advance party” shows Jesus’ missionary skill and sensitivity. Like a good farmer, he knows that the field needs preparation to make it more conducive for seeds to grow when sown. And the more people are involved, the faster the work is accomplished. Moreover, the instructions he gives them underline the urgency of their task that is centered on announcing the nearness of the Kingdom of God.

We believers are given our tasks to realize for our times the Kingdom of God. How beautiful it would be if everyone felt this calling and tried to realize it with all seriousness and attention. People nowadays seem always busy, but are they concerned with the things of God or preoccupied only with their business?

Do we see around us the “harvest” that needs to be gathered?

How are we responding to the need?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.