- 2 Kings 5:1-14
- Psalm 30
- Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16
- Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
In scripture the number seven or its multiples stands for completeness, totality, fulfillment. We see this in Genesis 10 (the seventy nations of the world) and Genesis 46:27 (seventy members of the family of Jacob). The original mission of the twelve disciples (9:1-16) was to be witnesses to prepare the way of the Lord as well as recalling the twelve tribes of Israel. We can also recall in Numbers 11:16-25 how Moses appointed seventy elders to assist him.
Now the appointment of seventy suggests a mission expanded to all the nations. In today’s Gospel, the seventy are sent out two by two as sort of advance party to the towns that Jesus himself will visit later. He tells them that there must be an abundant harvest; but there must be more laborers if the ripeness of the Kingdom is to be taken advantage of.
Why two by two? In ministry we are called to go forth in support of one another. Mutual support is necessary, especially if one is to go into unknown territory where the environment might be hostile and the mission dangerous. Like sheep among wolves. There is safety in numbers.
The mission of the church today is much like the task of the seventy – that is, to extend the work of Christ (10:16) and to be living signs to the world that “the kingdom of God has come near.”
- Which of the instructions that Jesus gives to the seventy has the most meaning for you? How does it help you focus on your mission, keeping moving ahead? What happens if we trust God’s power enough to go forth in simplicity and humility, will to be the “least”?
- Describe Jesus’ way of dealing with rejection. How is this attitude different from the ways most people deal with rejection? In what ways does this attitude help us remain undeterred from our mission and free to move forward?