OCTOBER 18. St. Luke. Apostle. Lk 10. 1-9
The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.”’
Given today is the feast of St Luke the message is clearly one about the Christian Vocation, which is something we have all received; - and to which we all have to respond. While Luke’s calling was to be an Apostle, the “calling” for each of us is exactly the same as it amounts to an “invitation” to do God’s Will!
That is a simple, but accurate, description of the Christian Vocation. To do God’s Will within the framework of our God-given circumstances, which sometimes will be in a comfortable and pleasant environment, while at other times it will involve enormous suffering; - with the Virgin Mary’s vocation being an example of the latter.
What is important to understand about whether we are happy or not happy in our vocation is that our circumstances in life are not matters for us to decide, but for the one who created us; - “Before I formed you in the womb; - I knew you!” Our job in life is to say “yes” to our God-given circumstances!
A few key elements will apply to all of our vocations, no matter what; - with the need to generously embrace the Cross being one of the most fundamental; - followed by a meek and humble heart; - the practice of Charity; - the need for Prayer and Sacrament; - together with the regular offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, along with regular reception of the Eucharist, and giving regular periods to the reading of the scriptures.
There is no doubt St Luke, St Paul, the Virgin Mary, and all holy people have frequently turned to these divine gifts; - all of which were taught by Jesus Christ during his time among us. The other requirement of all Christians, highlighted in today’s Gospel is the need for all of us to pray to God for the growth and spread of the Church; - the mystical body of Christ!
While Christ established the Church, of which he is the head; - it is also a communion of his followers; -a major source of grace for his people via the Sacraments; - and an organisation dependent on human efforts and prayers; - a point made clear by Christ in today’s reading.
‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest!’ But then he makes the point the Apostles, and all his followers, were to have faith in his divine help, rather than trusting in our own wisdom and ability. This is an important aspect of every vocation; - that we place our trust in God!
Which brings us to the key point in today’s Gospel; - that we accept the vocation and circumstances allocated to us; - have faith in God; - and work for the growth of his Church!
Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn15:16
I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord,
to go and bear fruit that will last.
First reading 2 Timothy 4:10-17 · Only Luke is with me
Demas has deserted me for love of this life and gone to Thessalonika, Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia; only Luke is with me. Get Mark to come and bring him with you; I find him a useful helper in my work. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and the scrolls, especially the parchment ones. Alexander the coppersmith has done me a lot of harm; the Lord will repay him for what he has done. Be on your guard against him yourself, because he has been bitterly contesting everything that we say.
The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.