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Return of the seventy-two

 

Gospel reading: Lk 10:17-24

 

THE seventy-two dis­ciples returned rejoic­ing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have ob­served Satan fall like light­ning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heav­en.”

At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Fa­ther, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

 

REFLECTIONS:  The demons are subject to us

When Jesus sent the Twelve (Apostles) on a mission, he gave them authority over demons and power to cure diseases. They were the representatives of Jesus during the time of their formation, and already they shared Jesus’ power. This mission and power are also given to the seventy[-two] disciples. When these return to Jesus, they happily report to him: “Lord, even the de­mons are subject to us because of your name.”

Great though this power may be, Jesus tells them not to rejoice because the spir­its are subject to them. They receive this power not because they deserve it; it is freely given them by God. This grace may not remain with them forever and may not always be effective. This they have already experienced when a man brought to them his son seized by a demon and they could not cast the evil spirit out. Jesus told them that they were still “faithless” (cf Lk 9:38-42). They needed “prayer” – to trust in the Lord rather than in themselves.

But the sure anchor of their joy is the fact that their “names are written in heav­en.” They have welcomed Jesus and his Gospel. They remain with him as his disci­ples. They are not “servants” but “friends” of Jesus. They call on God as their “Abba – Father,” and, as God’s children, are heirs of the good things of God.

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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.

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