Luke 10:1-12

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, ‘The kingdom of God is never near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, ‘We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.’ I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.”

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The word “Peace” in the English language is not able to accurately translate the word “Shalom” which is most likely the word that Jesus used in today’s passage. “Shalom” means more than just peace. It means also means: safety, health, and prosperity, to the person being wished.

Another word in today’s reading that is not mentioned but forms part of the theme is “hospitality”. For those of us receiving messengers of the Lord, we are called to be hospitable to them. We don’t know who are messengers of the Lord, so we are actually called to be hospitable to all who come our way. What does it mean to be hospitable? I think it is best described by a nun I met not too long ago, who said that the poor are usually very hospitable because they consider your happiness above their own.

One more word that form part of today’s theme is “dependence”. Dependence on God to provide what we need to carry out the mission that he has tasked us to do. When God calls us to do something, it is not because we are qualified, but because we are willing to say “yes” to God’s call. If he sends us to carry out something, you can be sure that he’s going to provide everything necessary for us to carry out that mission.

However, it is when we start to depend on ourselves that is where things seem to fall apart. Dependence on God to do what he called us to do, that is the key. Often we make the mistake of taking on more than what he called us to do.

In the words of a colleague, it is alright to say “no”. It doesn’t mean that you’re not helpful or you’re not being Christian. It is important to learn to say “no” to some things in life, otherwise we become too taxed and too overburdened when we say “yes” to everything, and then we stray from the mission that God has entrusted us with.

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