The harvest

July 3, 2022

A couple of weeks ago we heard the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. Jesus transformed a meager amount of food to a meal that satisfied thousands. Today we hear him tell the disciples that “the harvest is abundant” (Luke 10:2). As God provided abundant milk and overflowing prosperity to Jerusalem in Isaiah, Jesus provided abundant food and now an abundant harvest to the people. So too does God’s grace continue to overflow into our world. Jesus is not only the Bread of Life, satisfying our hunger with his own Body and Blood, he is our redeemer, abundantly sharing forgiveness throughout humankind. Our harvest of spiritual sustenance and redemption is indeed plentiful. Consider this episode from the Gospel a dress rehearsal. Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples, a number thought to be the total number of nations on earth, to bring peace, cure the sick, and proclaim the kingdom. After his resurrection, Jesus called upon the disciples to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth, making disciples of every nation. The disciples were able to do it then because they had rehearsed it now. Today we are the ones who are called to the mission, to the harvest, to bring peace, comfort, understanding, and forgiveness to people around the world. As in last week’s Gospel, Jesus specifically tells his disciples not to retaliate. Last Sunday he rebuked James and John when they asked to call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritan village that refused to welcome him. Today he tells the disciples to move on if they are rejected. He instructs them to offer peace wherever they go. Unlike money, which he specifically told them not to bring, the peace the disciples did bring could be given again and again, and when it was not received it returned to them. Peace, not discord, is what we should sow so that at harvest time we can return rejoicing. Amen. (Casey, Most Reverend Robert G. Pastoral Patterns. World Library Publication, 2022)

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