October 4, 2008
Saint Francis of Assisi. Memorial
Luke 10: 17-24
The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power 'to tread upon serpents' and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven." At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." Turning to the disciples in private he said, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, in Luke 9 you showed me your resolve to journey toward Jerusalem. Help me to see that to be able to efficiently assist you in the New Evangelization, I need to journey with you. I believe in you, I hope in you, and I love you. Let me not waver ungratefully in your call to me.
Petition: Lord, fill me with your infinite love toward humanity.
1. The Thrill of Victory
It is easy to imagine how General Patton and his team of advisors and officers felt when Patton wheeled his platoons out of danger and into victory at the Battle of the Bulge. They felt quite happy and relieved. When the seventy-two returned after having defeated evil forces in countless villages, they too rejoiced and Christ rejoiced with them.
2. Back to Humility
Jesus presents to the seventy-two the theme of humility that we have been meditating on this week. It is the secret weapon of our Lord. He invites them not to rejoice because of their own efforts and talents, but to rejoice that God’s name is glorified. Having their names written in the book of life is all about God’s glory, not theirs! It takes humility to await the rewards of generous labors and not to have them at the snap of a finger. Jesus also refers to humility when he is rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, thanking his Father that he revealed divine things to the childlike and hidden them from the clever and wise of this age.
3. The Truly Great
Alexander the Great would have loved to have seen the entire globe in his hands. Caesar would have bent over backwards to have conquered an American continent, had he known it existed. Stalin would have been pleased to have all of Europe under his control. None of these powerful leaders was able to achieve these desires. However, the humble seventy-two who obeyed our Lord and accompanied him to Jerusalem tasted the greatness of the victorious mission. Jesus recognizes their joy in helping many souls see the ideals of the Kingdom, and he doesn’t hesitate to utter these words: "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."
Conversation with Christ: Christ my King and Lord, let me be the seventy-third disciple! Help me to trust in your promises so that I too can forget myself, work hard for your Kingdom and, if you wish, see many souls love you more. Make me an instrument of your love; make me a channel of your peace and love!
Resolution: I will consult the priest at my parish to see if he needs a hand with upcoming events; I can offer myself lovingly for Christ’s sake.
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