Rejoice because your names are written in heaven
Jesus said to his disciples, “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.” So, what did the seventy-two end up taking with them? They took the Lord! They took their experiences with Christ, they took their love for him and they shared their enthusiasm to serve Him. This is what the disciples took with them and gave to others as they traveled to every town and place the Lord intended to visit.
There is so much work to do; so many sinful souls to save and broken lives to heal. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” This morning please set aside some time to pray for vocations. The words Christ spoke two thousand years ago ring true to our ears today. The day in the life of a priest could easily include multiple hospital visits, family visits, a baptism, wedding and funeral. These moments are powerful for a priest, but the greatest moments are the celebration of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is where the hunger and thirst for God’s love and forgiveness reaches the hearts of the struggling man, woman and child. This is where the priest could find some consolation with additional ministers!
The Lord rejoiced when he heard the seventy-two rejoicing! A little piece of heaven had come down to earth, to humanity, and the world rejoiced because we need God’s love to love and be loved. How we long for Jesus, our hope! Man needs more than just comfort and commodity. He needs love, compassion and communion of hearts. He needs God!
Why does the devil fall? Because the Christian brings to the world what the devil cannot stand: Love and life, forgiveness and healing, generosity and commitment. No one can stop a committed Christian. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Rm 8:35, 37). How true it is. We overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. The early Church sent missionaries throughout Europe, and they came back in pieces. So the Church sent more and more missionaries until empire after empire succumbed to the force of Christ’s love. We owe so much to these brave men and women who gave their lives for Christ and died a hero’s death.
The devil fears the Christian who is crucified with the Lord and to the world because he has nothing in his bag of tricks, or in his arsenal, that will attract the Christian’s heart. The lack of a money bag, sack, sandals or any other commodity will never be enough to stop the Lord’s servant from proclaiming Jesus LORD!
The authentic Christian aspires for only one thing: to be a Saint! And to be a Saint means to be no more and no less than what God created him to be from the very beginning of time. Do not let anyone or anything ever stop you from reaching the goal of eternal life! So do what is right, what is good and what is holy, and “your heart shall rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass; the Lord’s power shall be known to his servants” (Isaiah 66:14).