REFLECTION FOR TODAY
September 30, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” Lk. 10:1-3
Jesus sent the seventy-two disciples to follow a stern discipline in proclaiming the reign of God. they were sent because Jesus wanted all people to be save. The salvation of all remains the deepest desire of Jesus and the reason for sending these disciples. But why would Jesus send them out like lambs among wolves? This might be very concerning as the situation seem not to be favorable. They were sent this way with the mind that they need not to fear since Jesus is the Good Shepherd Who always protects His sheep.
Jesus warned the disciples that they would face hostility on their mission because He was sending them out “like lamb among of wolves” Yet, even amid opposition and persecution, they were to approach people with an expectancy born of faith in the surpassing greatness of God’s power.
So, the “wolves” in this situation are especially some of the cruel religious and civil leaders of that time, as well as those who would reject the disciples and their teaching. When looking at the worldly danger that Jesus encountered, as well as His disciples, we see that it was a danger of persecution. But this is not the “danger” to fear. The true “danger” is only that which has the potential to do eternal damage to one’s soul: sin.
Sin and sin alone has the potential to do true damage, not persecution or even death. So, when Jesus sent His disciples out “like lambs among wolves,” He was fully aware of the persecution they would receive in this world. But He exhorted them and sent them, because He knew that even if they were to eventually suffer persecution and death, their faith and courage during it would gain them merit in eternal life and would become an instrument of grace for others in their life of faith.
Jesus still calls us today to proclaim the gospel to the world as we await the final harvest. We proclaim the gospel by our love for one another, by our humble obedience to God and by the words we speak. We can share in the early disciples’ role of ambassadors of Christ. We too are the workers and disciples Jesus want to send into the harvest because His kingdom is worthy of it. Let us commit ourselves to working for the kingdom as Jesus calls us.
Reflect, today, upon the glorious truth that Jesus also sends you forth to be like a lamb among wolves. The fulfillment of the will of God in your life will take fortitude and courage as you trust that our Lord will keep you free from the countless temptations of sin. As you go forth, do not be surprised if you encounter harshness from others in the world, judgment and even persecution in various forms. When you do, respond with virtue. Keep faith, hope and charity alive in your life and do not fear those who can harm you in ways that are not eternal.
Lord, You came face-to-face with a harshness and cruelty in this world that ultimately enabled You to give witness to Your divine love by freely laying down Your life. Please send me forth on Your mission and strengthen me with every divine virtue so that I will not fear any form of persecution but always remain steadfast in my love of You, overcoming all fear through the gift of faith. My life is Yours, dear Lord. Do with me as You will. Jesus, I trust in You.