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Thursday – Twenty-sixth week – OT2
Readings: Job 19:21-27; Lk 10:1-12.
1/ Reading I (Job 19:21-27):
Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
22 Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
23 “Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were graven in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at last he will stand upon the earth;
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
2/ Gospel (Lk 10:1-12): The Mission of the Seventy
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
THEME: Believing in God’s providence
All thing that happen in this life are for a reason; but man isn’t always understanding that reason. People frequently use their mind to find a reason for it; for example: the event of September 11, 2011 happened due to the Americans’ sins. When Jesus’ disciples saw the man born blind in Jn 9, they asked Jesus who is at fault: his sins or his parents’ sins? Jesus answered not anyone’s sins but for God’s glory. In the Gospel, when Jesus sent his disciples to preach the Good News, he commanded them not to bring with them bags or sticks. Many people shall ask him a question that how to survive then? But Jesus wants them to live by the good wills of those who believe in the Good News; and their responses are in God’s providence.
1/ Reading I: Job’s strong belief in God
1.1/ Believing in God’s mercy instead of judging and condemning others: Job’s friends believe that punishments are results of sins, so when they saw that Job is suffered, they concluded that Job committed sins. But God’s providence isn’t such simple: enduring sufferings isn’t necessary due to sins. The readers of Job knew from the beginning why God is suffered while Job and his friends didn’t know: That is a proof for Satan to know that Job loves God not because of God’s blessings on his children and belongings.
Satan’s case is also an example of “take whatever one’s thought and apply to others.” He takes what he is thinking and applies to Job’s case. When Job hears his friends keep judging and condemning, he begs them for their mercy – if they can’t have compassion for him, let him be in peace: “Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! 22 Why do you, like God, pursue me? Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?”
1.2/ Job’s strong belief in God: Even though Job lost all of his belongings and children, at the same time he must endure his sickness and spiritual teasing from his friends, Job never dares to complain or to curse God as Satan expected. In opposition, he still keeps his belief in God’s mercy: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; 26 and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”
2/ Gospel: The faith of those who preach the Good News
2.1/ Jesus sent seventy disciples to preach the Good News: Jesus already has the plan for the Good News to reach all people. According to this plan, beside the Twelves, Jesus also chooses seventy disciples, in Luke’s gospel, and sends them out today with his command: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” In God’s providence, the Twelves and the seventy disciples continue Jesus’ mission. They are not only preaching but also at the same time continue train other disciples among their hearers so that there are never lacking of preachers. Also, according to God’s providence, those who are preaching the Good News shall be fed by the hearers so that they have time to preach the Gospel.
2.2/ Some essential characters of the preachers: Jesus commands his disciples the followings:
(1) “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals”: They are asked to live poorly because of the Gospel and trust completely in God’s providence. If a preacher has so many things, he doesn’t want and also can’t travel very far. The one who has the least is the one who can travel farthest.
(2) “Salute no one on the road” but pay attention to their present mission: This is not a command to be impolite or to insult others, but a sound advice so that they should not let little things to interfere with their important mission (2 Kgs 4:29).
(3) Don’t go from house to house: The most important thing is to preach the Good News, not to go from house to house to find profits or individual safety.
2.3/ The duties of the hearers:
(1) To receive kindly the preacher: Because the preacher brings the Good News and God’s peace to hearers, they need to open their houses to welcome and to give the preacher’s necessary things. Jesus desires good welcome from hearers as he commands his disciples: “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house.”
(2) The consequent punishment for those who don’t welcome: Jesus said to his disciples: “But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’” When the Good News is proclaimed, the duty to respond is put on hearers. If they don’t behave correspondingly, they must bear a complete duty on the Last Day as Jesus warned: “I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
APPLICATIONS IN LIFE:
– All things that happen in the world are for a reason; but people are not always understanding those reasons. So, we should not apply what we think as the standards to judge and to condemn others. In all cases, we need to completely believe and trust in God’s mercy and treat others with charity.
– The preacher’s duties are to live simple for the mission of preaching the Good News and to believe in God’s providence to provide the necessities through the hearers of Good News.
– The hearers’ duties are to accept the Gospel’s messages and to kindly receive preachers. If they don’t, they must bear punishments on the Last Judgment Day.