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  • 5

    Jul2013

    Mission of “Seventy-Two Others”

    This coming Sunday’s first reading from Isaiah was occasioned by the return of the Jewish people from exile. The prophet visualizes the Holy City as a mother welcoming her children home. The people may now look forward to prosperity and comfort. In this post-Pentecostal season, the Church attributes this sense of fulfillment to the Holy Spirit.

    Paul, on the other hand, speaks of “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is the single thing of which he will boast, for it is the means by which we are re-created. The comfort and prosperity promised in the first reading are here transformed by a deepening of the Christian paradox.

    Luke’s Gospel describes the calling and the mission of “seventy-two others,” who are commissioned to bring in the “harvest.” The number is symbolic, since according to Jewish tradition the number of nations in the world is seventy-two. This then is a universal mission, a catholic mission to all the world.

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