Isaiah 66: 10-14c Galtaians 6: 14-18 Luke 10: 1-9
In any of the traveling that we do, especially traveling for pleasure such as a vacation, the focus is on the destination, whatever it might be. How often the question was asked: “Are we there yet?”
In St. Luke’s account we are following now, the destination of Jesus is Jerusalem. Unlike the pleasure and enjoyment we look forward to in our destinations, we know that for Jesus, Jerusalem meant betrayal, condemnation and execution. But it also was the culmination of his ministry of revealing God’s love for mankind. It is for this reason that today we hear the majestic words of Isaiah. As the goal of Jesus’ journey, Jerusalem also represented comfort, delight, prosperity, the overflowing torrent in the midst of drought. Like an infant in the arms of its mother, God comforts us. The passion and death of Christ in Jerusalem reaffirms the depth of God’s love through the total giving of Jesus on our behalf.
If the meaning of Jerusalem has gained greater depth because of the action of Christ, so Pail wants us to know the difference that is present in his life. As he concludes his letter to the Christians of Galatia, He wants them, as he would want us, to realize how he has been transformed by his faith in Jesus. His suffering, his marks of Jesus Christ on his body, are the evidence of the great extent to which he goes to confirm this transformation.
Primarily, today, our attention is focused on the actions ofJesus as he continues his travels. He sends out a large number of his followers to prepare the way for him.They were to lay the groundwork, facilitate the opportunities, for him to be received openly. They were to proclaim lofty ideals about the meaning of the kingdom of God being at hand, being present.
It is the total union with God and all that this entails that is now being made available. In addition to abandonment of the past and freedom for the future, to take up the cross daily along with Jesus requires an openness to the possibilities that are being offered and how these affect our lives and our values. A total commitment to Christ’s presence in the world means a commitment that shows a willing dependence on God and God’s love as it is to be shown to others no matter how we might view them. Our commitment is to be so complete, as Jesus told his followers, that it dies not require even simple everyday things.
The ideals that we declare and that we celebrate this weekend, a loft as they may be, are but a reflection, a very clear reflection, of the dignity and value that is to be extended to all persons as daughters and sons of our Creator God. In this respect, Pope Francis offers these words for our reflection: “Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good see can grow.”
In this way each of us are one with the 72 of the gospel in the living out of our daily lives. We are sent forth from this Mass to make ready, to make available, the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives and in the lives of others. Thus it is that, in and through us, by our union with Jesus Christ, our world is to learn of the abundant and enduring love of our good and gracious God.