July 2, 2016
First off, I would like to wish all here a happy and healthy Independence Day weekend. I hope and pray all are having a good weekend as we celebrate our twohundred and fortieth birthday as a nation. God bless all our families, homes and certainly this land we all love. I further pray that as this time of celebration continues with more gatherings, fireworks and other things, that all people will be safe and these times will be truly restful.
In today’s gospel, Jesus is following up on what we heard last week with the teaching on what would be expected with those who follow Jesus. This week, Jesus is now sending out the seventy-two disciples to spread the “Good News.” Jesus is clear that the work of trying to get His message out will not be easy. Jesus is teaching that most certainly, many of those being sent would not be very welcome in many of the places to which they will go. Jesus is preparing them (and us too) for the reality that the greetings they might get are not filled with the peace, love and Christian hospitality that we have all grown to expect when we encounter someone who is hungry for that “Good News.” Are we ready to deal with the challenge or even hate when we go in the name of our God and are NOT received well?
Next, Jesus tells those who are being sent to not take anything extra with them as they go on their journey to spread the, “good news.” When Jesus instructs them to not take anything like money or sandals he was not being literal. Rather, he was saying, I believe that we ought to go only with the Word of God and with the faith that gives that Word so much meaning in our world.
Having just returned from a journey, I must say that most ALL of the people I encountered all over Ireland and even throughout the Chicago area were very pleasant. It really was an experience of the best of what Jesus was teaching today. While, even the all the drivers all through Ireland were very patient with all of us tourists who really were more than a little uncomfortable driving in an unfamiliar town with very different customs, laws and practices.
When Jesus sends us, like he sent the seventytwo in today’s gospel, we don’t know what we will encounter. We do go hoping to find the peaceful households. Sometimes though, we do not find peace and have to shake the dust from our feet and move on. It is my prayer this week, as we conclude our holiday time, that you and your household AND the whole world might know the peace of our God. We need to work on peace deep within ourselves so that God’s peace might be known to a world desperately in need.
May God bless us all today and always!!