Friends, our Gospel, taken from the magnificent tenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, is a portrait of the Church. It shows us what Jesus wants his followers to be doing and how to do it. Listen to how the passage begins: “Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.”
We are a missionary Church. We are sent by the Lord to spread his word and do his work. The Christian Gospel is just not something that we are meant to cling to for our own benefit. Rather, it is like seed that we are meant to give away.
He sends them two by two. We do this work together, with others, in community. Ministers need people to support them, pray for them, talk to them, challenge them. St. Francis of Assisi had an experience of God and then, within months, gathered people around him; St. Dominic, from the beginning, had brothers in his work; St. Teresa of Kolkata attracted a number of her former students to join her in her mission. We don’t go it alone.