Scripture: 1st Reading: 2Tim4,10-17; Resp. Psalm: Ps145,10-13,17-18; Gosp. Accl.: Jn15,16; Gospel: Lk10,1-9
The way of the gospel can sometimes be very lonely. The commitment to witnessing can be lonesome. Opposition to the word can be fierce and can threaten or even take one's life. There could be people who first accept the word and show themselves as friends of the good news, only to turn their backs on same and abandon the truths they had so earnestly held on to and defended.
There are useful people who support the work of evangelization and the spread of the good news of salvation and there are haters and sworn enemies of the word who do everything within their power to do great harm to the good news and to the people charged with disseminating it.
The First Reading today paints these various scenarios that the preached word could be subjected to. The word today mentioned the fact that some people abandoned the preacher of the good news and became opponents and enemies of the word he brought. But the word also has a thread of hope in it: one person among the lot stood by the gospel; in spite of the human disappointments and abandonment, the Lord gave strength to His Apostle to proclaim the word fully that unbelievers might hear it.
The believer, like the seventy two sent out by our Lord in today's gospel, is sent out into the world to bear witness. The words of our Lord pronounced when He sent them ahead of Him are still relevant in our mission today: that the harvest is rich but the labourers few; that the believer who stands out to testify to the good news is like a sheep among wolves.
The disciples of our Lord who are sent on mission should fight against distractions to their commitment to Him and His mission. They should understand and recognize the urgency of the work they are called to. They should know that the content of their mission is to spread the peace of Christ on earth. The disciple must realize that while on mission, he must be content with what is provided for him and not jump from house to house, thus seeking personal comfort and selfish gain.
The disciples on mission were to be fed, provided for and maintained from the appreciation of the people they preach the word to, since every labourer deserves his wages. They should be content with what is set before them and heal the sick in every town they enter. Our Lord equally commanded the preachers of the good news today to proclaim the nearness or imminence of the kingdom of God.
Our Lord gave these prescriptions and regulations to stress to every believer the over-riding importance of bearing witness to the gospel. St. Luke, the Evangelist whose Feast we celebrate today, used his talents for the good of the mission of Christ. He was a disciple of the Apostle Paul and faithfully accompanied him on some of his missionary journeys.
St. Luke was also an avid learner, open to discover the depths of the riches contained in the message of salvation brought by our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a super and indomitable evangelizer who learnt everything he could from the Apostles and preached them to unbelievers.
St. Luke was a man endowed with stupendous intellectual abilities that he deplored for the sake of the gospel, thus giving to posterity a concise record of the message of life preached by our Lord, as contained in the gospel that bears his name and the Acts of the Apostles.
St. Luke was a man on fire with divine love for our Lord. From the time of his conversion till the end of his eventful life, he dedicated himself single-mindedly to the cause of Christ. It was this same devotedness he manifested in his assistance to St. Paul in missionary journeys. May he intercede for us to be more attached to the gospel of our Lord and seek heaven alone so that we could achieve true happiness.
Let us pray: "Lord God, who chose Saint Luke to reveal by his preaching and writings the mystery of your love for the poor, grant that those who already glory in your name may persevere as one heart and one soul, and that all nations may merit to see your salvation." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.