Readings 20151018

Feast of Saint Luke, EvangelistLectionary: 661 Reading 1 2 tm 4:10-17b
Beloved:Demas, enamored of the present world,deserted me and went to Thessalonica,Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.Luke is the only one with me.Get Mark and bring him with you,for he is helpful to me in the ministry.I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm;the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.You too be on guard against him,for he has strongly resisted our preaching.At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,but everyone deserted me.May it not be held against them!But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,so that through me the proclamation might be completedand all the Gentiles might hear it. Responsorial Psalm ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18 R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,and let your faithful ones bless you.Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdomand speak of your might.R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.Making known to men your mightand the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,and your dominion endures through all generations.R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.The LORD is just in all his waysand holy in all his works.The LORD is near to all who call upon him,to all who call upon him in truth.R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Gospel lk 10:1-9 The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two discipleswhom he sent ahead of him in pairsto 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 harvestto 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 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 following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

What kind of harvest does the Lord want us to reap today for his kingdom? When Jesus commissioned seventy of his disciples to go on mission, he gave them a vision of a vast field that is ready to be harvested for the kingdom of God. Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest to convey the coming of God’s reign on earth. The harvest is the fruition of much labor and growth – beginning with the sowing of seeds, then growth to maturity, and finally the reaping of fruit for the harvest. God’s word grows like a seed within us In like manner, the word of God is sown in the hearts of receptive men and women who hear his word, accept it with trust and obedience, and then share the abundant fruit of God’s word in their life with others. The harvest Jesus had in mind was not only the gathering in of the people of Israel, but all the peoples (and nations) of the world. John the Evangelist tells us that  “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Be a sower of God’s word of peace and mercy What does Jesus mean when he says his disciples must be “lambs in the midst of wolves”? The prophet Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This certainly refers to the second coming of of the Lord Jesus when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after he has put down his enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth. In the meantime, the disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who would oppose the Gospel. Jesus came to lay down his life for us, as our sacrificial lamb, to atone for our sins and the sins of the world. We, in turn, must be willing to offer our lives with gratitude and humble service for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to speak and witness in God’s name What is the significance of Jesus appointing seventy disciples to the ministry of the word? Seventy was a significant number in biblical times. Moses chose seventy elders to help him in the task of leading the people through the wilderness. The Jewish Sanhedrin, the governing council for the nation of Israel, was composed of seventy members. In Jesus’ times seventy was held to be the number of nations throughout the world. Jesus commissioned the seventy to a two-fold task – to speak in his name and to act with his power. Jesus gave his disciples instructions for how they were to carry out their ministry. They must go and serve as people without guile, full of charity (selfless giving in love) and peace, and simplicity. They must give their full attention to the proclamation of God’s kingdom and not be diverted by other lesser things. They must  travel light – only take what was essential and leave behind whatever would distract them – in order to concentrate on the task of speaking the word of the God. They must do their work, not for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give freely to others, without expecting reward or payment. “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord Jesus wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. God gives us his life-giving word that we may have abundant life in him. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. God shares his word with us and he commissions us to speak it boldly and plainly to others. Do you witness the truth and joy of the Gospel by word and example to those around you? “Lord Jesus, may the joy and truth of the Gospel transform my life that I may witness it to those around me. Grant that I may spread your truth and merciful love wherever I go.”

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com  

CATHOLIC WORKERS   “The harvest is rich but the workers are few; therefore ask the Harvest-Master to send workers to His harvest.” —Luke 10:2   Jesus needs many more workers to reach the more than four-billion people who don’t know Him. He also needs many more workers to help the nearly two-billion Christians grow in holiness. Therefore, “take courage” and work for Jesus (see Hg 2:4). Work, even if you think you have worked “in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent” your strength (Is 49:4). Work, even if you consider yourself inadequate and without much to offer compared to other parts of Christ’s body (see 1 Cor 12:15-16). Work, even if you or others think you’re not needed (1 Cor 12:20-22). Work, even if you are very late for work. The Lord in His mercy may give you a full-life’s pay for very little time on the job (Mt 20:9). Work, even if you have to suffer, as Jesus the Worker suffered. St. Luke gave up a good job as a doctor (see Col 4:14) to work for Jesus. The benefits of working for Jesus didn’t seem that good. You couldn’t have even a walking staff, a traveling bag, or sandals (Lk 10:4). However, Luke did one of the greatest, most fruitful works in history. He wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Be like Luke. Work “for food that remains unto life eternal” (Jn 6:27).  

Prayer: Father, may Your love impel me to work for You with zeal (see 2 Cor 5:14). Promise: “The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength, so that through me the preaching task might be completed and all the nations might hear the gospel.” —2 Tm 4:17 Praise: St. Luke “carefully traced the whole sequence of events from the beginning” and “decided to set it in writing for you” so that you “may see how reliable” the message of Jesus is (Lk 1:3-4). Praise You, Lord, for inspiring Luke to preserve Your good news for our sake.   (Celebrate the feast of St. Luke by ordering our booklet, Simple Reading Guide to Luke and Acts, and our leaflet, Job Performance for Jesus.)    Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014.†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 24, 2014.  The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements
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