REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 18, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two 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.” Lk. 10:1-2.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Luke the evangelist, who was not a direct witness to the life of Jesus. He didn’t become a believer until he heard the gospel preached by someone else. But empowered by the Holy Spirit, he participated in the great commission of Jesus Christ. Luke therefore was a true evangelist. As an evangelist, he followed the inspiration from our Lord and was used to bring God’s saving message to the ends of the earth. There is little doubt that his ministry will continue to have a transforming effect on the lives of many until the end of the world. St. Luke became a martyr, by being hanged on an olive tree.
St Luke is said to be an evangelist to the gentiles. His Gospel is believed to have been primarily written for those who are not of Jewish origin. Thus, the life and mission of St Luke must remind us that the Gospel needs to be shared with all people, especially with those who do not have a deep and sustaining relationship with God.
In gospel reference today, Jesus sent seventy-two disciples “to every town and place he intended to visit.” It is only the gospel of Luke that mentions the larger scale sending of seventy-two disciples. The other Gospels only mention the sending of the Twelve. Though many of these seventy-two disciples would have gone to Jewish territory, some would have unquestionably gone to non-Jewish territory. The mission of these seventy-two was to prepare everyone they encountered for the preaching of Jesus and for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
As we celebrate the feast of St Luke today, we are reminded that we all have been commissioned and sent by Jesus. We are sent to those who share our faith, such as family, friends, and fellow parishioners. We are sent to love them and do all we can to help deepen their faith and love of God. Without travelling half as much as St. Luke, we all encounter many opportunities to preach the gospel. Everyday we have opportunities to give of ourselves to tell others that God loves them, pray for them, and share our faith with them.
Reflect, today, upon the fact that the Gospel is meant for everyone. Speak to our Lord and tell Him that you are ready and willing to be used by Him to bring His saving message to others. As you do so, wait on the Lord, listen to His inspiration, and respond when He calls. If someone comes to mind whom you sense God is calling you to evangelize, begin to pray for that person. Pray for them every day and be attentive to any inspiration God gives you to share His love and saving message with them. Do not be afraid to be an evangelist like Saint Luke. Doing so might make an eternal difference in someone’s life.
Lord, You sent Your disciples on a mission to share Your saving message with all. Today I especially thank You for the life and ministry of Saint Luke. Please use me, dear Lord, to imitate his wonderful example and to share Your glorious life with others. Please lead me and inspire me to especially reach out to those whom You have put into my life. Jesus, I trust in You.