Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.
All three synoptic gospels tell us about Jesus sending out the Twelve on mission. Luke is the only one to note that he sent out seventy-two of his disciples out likewise, with the same instructions that he had given the Twelve. Where did these men come from? Obviously, they were all followers of Jesus, but we do not even know their names. We know nothing more about them than Jesus sending them out on mission.
There is an important lesson here. Those working for the coming of the kingdom of God are not all famous like the Twelve. Through the centuries, many have tried to further the kingdom for which Jesus lived and died. Some stand out and have been canonized. Most will go through history unknown and unsung. Does that mean they are less important? Hardly. Our baptisms and confirmations are all calls of Christ sending us to further his kingdom.
We are reminded of this in every Eucharist. Each Mass ends with us being sent forth to glorify God with our lives. We are missioned and sent forth to make a difference in our world. The Liturgy of that Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist are preparations, filling us with knowledge of the Lord and strengthening us at his table so that we may go forth to prepare the world to know and love the Lord. Being Catholic is not just to save our souls; it is to save the souls of others. This is our calling – what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Do we really appreciate the seriousness of this call?
Let Us Pray:
O Jesus, thank you for trusting me to carry out your work in our world. May I do my utmost to complete the mission that you have given me.