After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road.
Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
There’s always so much to do, especially when you work for God. Here we see Jesus preparing his disciples for “the harvest.” Jesus sends them out to the metaphorical vineyard in pairs, knowing that we are always more effective when we work together. There is strength and goodness in community.
We’re told that Jesus intends to visit these places too – another example of why the Incarnation is so amazing. Jesus is one of us – as a human, as a person who feels and has friends. He doesn’t ask us to do what he’s not also going to do. In all things, Jesus understands what we feel and experience.
We see, too, that Jesus cares for his laborers. He offers advice about their care and effectiveness. Be peaceful, be healers, be people who share the news of the Kingdom. Good advice for anyone who desires to live in the Spirit.
—Rita Zyber is RCIA and Confirmation Coordinator at St. Mary Student Parish at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.
I give thanks to you, Lord, who made the sun and rain.
I give thanks to you for new growth that rises from fertile land.
I give thanks to you for the harvests of grain, for nourishing bread.
I give thanks to you for all your great bounty.
Surely we taste your goodness today with truly thankful hearts.
—Adapted from a Prayer of Thanksgiving For a Farmer