GOD'S REIGN ON EARTH
Everywhere we go, we are called to bring a blessing of peace, to dine at the table with everyone who offers, bringing healing to the sick, and reminding everyone we meet that the Kingdom of God is at hand.
In the Gospel today, Jesus tells the seventy-two disciples - newly returned from their first foray as missionaries - not to glory in their success, however sensational. He focuses on the glory to come when He tells them to "Rejoice because your names are written in heaven" (Lk 11:20b). For they belong to God, to Whom all glory is ultimately due. The first reading from the Prophet Isaiah looks to the eventual restoration of Jerusalem, not by human achievement but by God's grace. Isaiah invites Israel to boast in the Lord Whose power "shall be known to His servants" (Is 66:14c). This invitation is extended to all the earth, as we hear the Psalmist call upon all to see and to sing praise to the glory of God's name!
Most of us don't think of ourselves as missionaries. We are not called in that special way to go out and preach, much less cast out evil spirits. We're grateful enough just to keep our own struggles under control. If we believe that, however, we are mistaken. Jesus Christ doesn't call anyone to get baptized into the Faith for the purpose of visiting a church once in a while, or once a week. We are baptized and sent, like the seventy-two, to proclaim the Good News and the hope of everlasting life. Everywhere we go, we are called to bring a blessing of peace, to dine at the table with everyone who offers, bringing healing to the sick, and reminding everyone we meet that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The world is hungry for Truth and the peace of God in their lives.
N.T. Wright wrote the book "Surprised By Hope". In it, he tells us that our task at the present moment...is to live as a resurrected people in between Easter and the final day with our Christian life...as a sign of the first and foretaste of the second. The harvest Jesus Christ had in mind was not only the people of Israel, but all the people of the world!