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SEPTEMBER 30. Ord Time B. Wk 26. Lk 10. 1-12

Updated: Sep 30

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.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.” I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.’


Jesus had nowresolutely taken the road for Jerusalemwhere he had advised the disciples that “The Son of Man was going to be handed over into the power of men” and be crucified so this was a very important point in his life. He was preparing, not only for his passion and death but also for leaving his disciples and establishing his Church.


So, the first task he assigned himself was to “appoint seventy-two others and send them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit” as the time had come for the Church to begin to function independently of his presence.


Something that flowed directly from his disciples taking responsibility for the management and spread of the Church was the need for appropriate personnel; - a task that would necessitate divine intervention if the work was to proceed effectively; - until the end of time.


As a result, this intervention and guidance from above would always require Prayer, as it could not be left in the hands of men, so when sending out these first seventy-two disciples he also instructed them; - “The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest!”


He then continued to provide the seventy-two with advice for their mission, telling them; - “ 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”!


What flows from this advice is an implicit message the work they were doing was not of men; - but of God; - and he would provide. This is an important aspect of the Christian vocation; - it is a divine task; - not the work of men; - so the disciples need to put their trust in God, and not their own efforts. Prayer and Faith would be critical to the success of their work. Note how in this reading we are told twice; - It is Christ who is “sending out” and “ahead of him!”


These divine instructions were very practical for his founding disciples, and they continue to apply today; - with all the Baptised given the Mission to promote the growth of the Church by whatever means applicable to our circumstances; - with Prayer, Sacrament, Charity and Trust in God’s assistance at the heart of our efforts. “Jesus, having been sent by you, I Trust in You!.


Gospel Acclamation Mk1:15


Alleluia, alleluia!

The kingdom of God is near:

repent and believe the Good News!

Alleluia!

First Reading. Nehemiah 8:1-12 ·

All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law


When the seventh month came, all the people gathered as one man on the square before the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses which the Lord had prescribed for Israel. Accordingly Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, consisting of men, women, and children old enough to understand. This was the first day of the seventh month. On the square before the Water Gate, in the presence of the men and women, and children old enough to understand, he read from the book from early morning till noon; all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.


Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden dais erected for the purpose. In full view of all the people – since he stood higher than all the people – Ezra opened the book; and when he opened it all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people raised their hands and answered, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and, face to the ground, prostrated themselves before the Lord. And Ezra read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense, so that the people understood what was read.


Then Nehemiah – His Excellency – and Ezra, priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people, said to all the people, ‘This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not be mournful, do not weep.’ For the people were all in tears as they listened to the words of the Law.


He then said, ‘Go, eat the fat, drink the sweet wine, and send a portion to the man who has nothing prepared ready. For this day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your stronghold.’ And the Levites calmed all the people, saying, ‘Be at ease; this is a sacred day. Do not be sad.’ And all the people went off to eat and drink and give shares away and begin to enjoy themselves since they had understood the meaning of what had been proclaimed to them.


Responsorial Psalm Psalm 18(19):8-11


The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


The law of the Lord is perfect,

it revives the soul.

The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,

it gives wisdom to the simple.


The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


The precepts of the Lord are right,

they gladden the heart.

The command of the Lord is clear,

it gives light to the eyes.


The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


The fear of the Lord is holy,

abiding for ever.

The decrees of the Lord are truth

and all of them just.


The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


They are more to be desired than gold,

than the purest of gold

and sweeter are they than honey,

than honey from the comb.


The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.


The point of today's second reading is very clear and needs no explanation. The People of God were having the scriptures explained to them by somebody who understood them and it had a powerful impact on them as they realised what they were hearing was the Truth, and they knew this in their hearts.


it is only when we are assisted by the Holy Spirit that we can begin to "see" this ourselves, and give thanks to God for what he is revealing to us. We are even more fortunate than the people of the Old Testament as rather than people like Ezra the scribe teaching us we have no less than Jesus Christ, the Son of God who reveals the truth to us via Prayer, the Gospels, the Holy Spirit, the Angels, and Mary, the Mother of the Church.


And look at how all of this is brought together in the Responsorial Psalm; -


"The Precepts of the Lord give Joy to the Heart!!"


SUMMARY:


We see these precepts when we go to today's Gospel Reading,; - which requires no explanation; - Christ sends all Christians out into the world to proclaim the Truth; - each of us within the framework of our God-given circumstances and abilities. It is he who sends us; - and it is he who brings our efforts to fruition; - in the way that he wants! But the message is clear; - he wants us to acknowledge that he is responsible for the growth of the Church; - and as a result we must turn to him via Prayer and Sacrament and seek his divine assistance that more members of his mystical body will become productive members; - with the ability to attach themselves to the vine and to bear fruit; - fruit that will last!!










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