Cycle [C] 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Is. 66:10-14; Gal. 6:14-18; Lk. 10:1-12, 17-20

The passage from the Gospel of Luke brings to our attention how Jesus appointed seventy disciples and sent them on ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself intended to go. 

Jesus sent them out with clear instructions. He said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the lord of the harvest to send out labourers into the harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals”. This is a clear warning not to put our trust in human means.

Jesus reminded the disciples what the psalmist has pronounced, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.”  When we trust in God with the

things that we want most, he will take care of it. He knows what is best for our life. If we feel like our goals are hard to achieve or even impossible, think again. Anything is possible with God. The disciples did what Jesus had asked them to do. And they found great result. 

The story of Deborah in the Bible shows us that the Lord calls ordinary people to do extraordinary things with their unconditional trust.  Deborah was a great leader of the Lord. She helped the people of the Lord settle arguments and get along. Deborah could trust God to take care of her. Deborah did trust God to help her make good decisions for His people. Deborah would trust God to protect her from the king of the country she lived in because this king did not believe or trust in God. One day God told Deborah to call another helper of the Lord. This helper was Barak. 

God told Deborah that Barak would defeat Sisera and free Israel from Jabin, the king of Canaan. When God promised victory for Barak, Deborah immediately trusted God’s word to be fulfilled. Barak, however, was afraid it wouldn’t work. He refused to go unless Deborah went with him. In the military culture of the day, the leader of an army was honored for killing the leader of the defeated army. Because Barak did not trust God for the victory, he lost the honor of the battle. Jael, a woman, killed Sisera adding more dishonor to Barak’s unbelief. But Deborah did trust that the Lord would help them win the battle.

Trusting the words of Jesus the disciples went out without purse, without bag and without sandals. The result was tremendous and all came back with joy. Just as Deborah trusted God’s words to her, and the disciples trusted Jesus’ words we, too, should trust the words God speaks to us.  

The second instruction was, “greet no one on the road.” The disciples were sent on God’s mission. Hence, Jesus did not want them to be distracted and waste any opportunity to communicate the message of God.  

One day a Farmer’s acquaintance came to visit his house but the farmer was not at home. So his wife sent some one to call him. Within no time, the farmer reached home from the fields along came his pet dog. The dog was gasping heavily and seeing this, the farmer’s guest asked him, “Is your field far away?”

The farmer replied, “No, it is near. But why are you asking this?”

The guest replied, “I am surprised to see that you and your dog came back together, yet  you don’t look tired. While your dog is gasping profusely.”

The farmer smiled and replied, “The reason is that I have come home though the straight path but my dog was compelled by his habit. He ran after other dogs to drive them away and came back to me barking. As soon as he saw other dogs he started running after them again.” We too do the same thing.

Reaching goal of life is not difficult, but negative people that we meet on the way are making us stray from the straight path. Man gets deviated from his goal and this deviation is making him tired and that is the biggest obstacle in achieving the goal.

Again we get distracted from situations. Today we are living in a world of technology. Technology has grown beyond the imagination of our fathers. And our children are more advanced than most of us. So this is a period of transition. Hence the challenges we face are many. Years ago we saw a computer in the school. Now our children see their school in their computer. Our forefathers travelled months and months to see distant lands. Now the whole world is at the fingertips of the current generation. Along with these developments we also have to face a lot of distractions. Traditional values are replaced with modern concepts.  Kitchens give way to food delivery companies. Mobile phones and Televisions steal the traditional family time. Here we stand helpless and get distracted from the right focus.

Jesus’ warning is very clear. Be focused. Do not get distracted on the primary aim of life. Keep moving straight in the direction of achieving the goal and then one day we will reach our destination.

The third instruction was, “Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.”

Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

When the seventy returned with joy, they told Jesus that even the demons submitted themselves to them in the Name of Jesus.

Today Jesus sends each one of us to proclaim. “The Kingdom of God has come.” This is the role of every Christian.