Seventy-two other disciples

Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2019 16:00:38 +0000


reflections today


IN an earlier account Luke describes Jesus as sending the Twelve Apos­tles (represent­ing the Twelve tribes) on a mis­sion to the whole people of Israel (cf Lk 9:1-6). In the Gospel, Luke reports of a parallel mission given to 72 disciples, recalling the 72 el­ders who were anointed to assist Moses in his prophetic mission (cf Nm 11:17). In the commissioning of the 72, Jesus demonstrates that his work is but the continuity and fulfillment of the Old Testa­ment story. The 72 may also be construed to represent all the nations of the world (cf Gn 10), thus giving universal character to the disciples’ mission.

The Twelve Apostles will form the nucleus of the “New Israel” who will be the light to all the nations. The 72 disciples are sent on a mission to all nations, Jew and Gentile alike. This mission prefigures the Church’s wider mission to form the “New Israel of God” composed of all those who believe and are united to Jesus Christ.


Gospel: Lk 10:1-9

The Lord 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. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ ”

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