IN THE COURSE OF HIS JOURNEY to Jerusalem Jesus chose seventy-two disciples and sent them off in pairs to preach and heal in the villages along the route.
“The harvest indeed is abundant, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest. Go. Behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry neither purse, nor wallet, nor sandals, and greet no one on the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if a son of peace be there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they have; for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. And whatever town you enter, and they receive you, eat what is set before you, and cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ But whatever town you enter, and they do not receive you-go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust from your town that cleaves to us we shake off against you; yet know this, that the kingdom of God is at hand.’ I say to you, that it will be more tolerable for Sodom in that day than that town.”
Such towns would have the same fate as those which had rejected Him, and which He now reproached:
“Woe to thee, Corozain! woe to thee, Bethsaida! For if in Tyre and Sidon had been worked the miracles that have been worked in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted to heaven? Thou shalt be thrust down to hell! For if the miracles had been worked in Sodom that have been worked in thee, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for thee. “
And sending out the seventy-two, He said:
“He who hears you, hears Me; and he who rejects you, rejects Me; and he who rejects Me, rejects Him who sent Me.”
Meditation: To listen to the preaching of the seventy-two was equivalent to listening to Christ. For He had sent them forth. The same can be said of Christ’s Vicar on earth today, the Pope. To listen to him is to listen to our Lord; he speaks in the name of Christ. Modern popes have spoken on many of the problems vexing our world. Have I listened to the directing voice of Christ’s Vicar on earth? Do I try to learn his views on contemporary problems?
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. 123-124. © 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.