THE SERVANT GENERAL
EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
MISSION OF DISCIPLES
Today’s reading: Luke 10:1-9
The holy Roman Catholic Church is a missionary Church. She
exists to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus to
the whole world. All Christians, who are disciples of Jesus,
are supposed to be missionaries too, to follow in the footsteps
on the seventy-two whom Jesus appointed and sent to every
town and place (Lk 10:1).
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus instructs his disciples
about mission work, citing several principles that all of
us ought to be aware of.
First, “the harvest is abundant” (Lk 10:2a). Jesus
already won salvation on the cross. He already crushed the
head of the serpent. He has accomplished the work given Him
by the Father, to make it possible for His children to be
brought back to Himself. He acted according to the very plan
of God. Thus everything has been accomplished by God. God
desires that all men be saved. The harvest is waiting to be
reaped and is abundant.
However, “the laborers are few” (Lk 10:2b). Few
Christians are truly aware that they are to be evangelizers
and missionaries. Most are preoccupied by the things of the
world, and are not active combatants in the spiritual war
that is raging all around. This is unfortunate, since God
has made Himself dependent upon His people to accomplish His
plan. We need to evangelize. If we do not, then even if the
harvest is potentially rich, many would continue to be lost
and remain under the dominion of sin and Satan.
Thus our constant prayer should be to “ask the master
of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
(Lk 10:2c). We of course need to be the first into the harvest
field. There we become painfully aware of the need for more
workers. And so we pray, while also acting to bring in those
workers. We evangelize, and those evangelized are turned into
evangelizers themselves. We have a sense of urgency. We work
on rapid and massive evangelization.
Second, Jesus warns us about what we are to expect. “Go
on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.”
(Lk 10:3). Lambs among wolves? That can become a slaughter!
Indeed, but that is only following on the footsteps of the
Master, who himself became the sacrificial lamb. When we die
for the cause of Christ, we produce much fruit, as mission
is propelled by the blood of the martyrs. When we die to ourselves
for God’s mission, we become effective instruments.
Our enemy is powerful and strong. On our own we cannot defeat
him. This is why we need the very strength of God. This is
why we need to be intimately connected with the One who already
won the victory.
Third, Jesus says, “Carry no money bag, no sack, no
sandals” (Lk 10:4a). We are to be totally dependent
on God for our provisions. But also, we ought not to be attached
to material possessions, as these detract from our taking
on the challenging task of mission. In Mark, Jesus allows
the apostles to wear sandals (Mk 6:9). Thus what Jesus has
stated is a principle, while what we actually use will depend
on the circumstances of our particular mission.
Further Jesus says, “and greet no one along the way.”
(Lk 10:4b). The mission is urgent and there is no time to
be lost, especially in pleasantries. We need to be single-minded
about fulfilling our task.
Fourth, Jesus gives instructions about entering into houses.
When we enter, we first say “Peace to this household.”
(Lk 10:5). We are agents of the Prince of Peace. We are peacemakers.
We bring the peace of Christ into homes and the lives of families.
What we say is not just a casual greeting or mindless salutation,
but is an effective word, proclaiming our very nature and
Then we are to “stay in the same house and eat and drink
what is offered to (us)” (Lk 10:7a). We are to freely
enjoy the hospitality of others, as God calls them to provide
such hospitality, as their way of supporting missionaries,
for “the laborer deserves his payment” (Lk 10:7b).
We are to be grateful for what they provide, enjoying the
food inherent in a particular place and culture. By our action,
we allow them to become part of our missionary work.
Finally, we are to “cure the sick” (Lk 10:9a)
as we become agents of healing--physical, emotional, spiritual.
We say to all, “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.”
(Lk 10:9b). Evangelizers are agents of God’s salvation.
Acceptance of such salvation is entry into the Kingdom of
God in our midst.