FROM NAZARETH Jesus journeyed through Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all kinds of sickness and infirmity. He was moved by the helplessness of the people, who lacked spiritual direction, and He said to the disciples:
“The harvest indeed is abundant, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to His Harvest.”
Then He called the Twelve and gave them power to cast out evil spirits and to heal all diseases and infirmities. And He sent them forth in pairs, saying:
“Do not go in the direction of the Gentiles, nor enter the towns of the Samaritans; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach the message, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand!’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not keep gold, or silver, or money in your girdles, no wallet for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staff; for the laborer deserves his living.”
They were to take the barest essentials for their journey; God would provide for the needs of His workers.
“And whatever town or village you enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, salute it. If then that house be worthy, your peace will come upon it; but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever does not receive you, or listen to your words-go forth outside that house or town, and shake off the dust from your feet.”
“Amen I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that town.”
“Behold, I am sending you forth like sheep in the midst of wolves. Be therefore wise as serpents, and guileless as doves.”
Jesus then continued His way alone, and the Twelve departed on the mission He had given them.
Meditation: There are too few laborers for the great harvest of souls in the world. When we reflect on this truth, we almost immediately think of praying for more priests, more nuns, m rt: brothers. But recent Popes have stressed the fact that the work of Christ will not be done unless lay apostles shoulder some of the responsibility. ,As a layman, I cannot pass the work of saving souls completely to the priests and nuns.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 85-86. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.