The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
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.
I can picture 72 disciples running toward Jesus like excited children, wanting to share their amazement at being able to drive out demons, something that would understandably be cause for elation. Jesus barely even acknowledges that feat, instead pointing them toward something that they should really celebrate–their salvation. Later, Jesus points out that many people who were great and powerful in society’s eyes may not be the ones who received and understood God’s message.
This is not the only time that Jesus points out that God and the world do not always judge things the same way, but it is a good reminder in our lives. Do I judge myself according to God’s standards or society’s standards? How do I determine someone’s importance based on what the world declares important, or what Jesus tells us is important?
What can I do today to align my perspective more closely with that of Jesus?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
O Spirit of God, we ask you to help orient
all our actions by your inspirations,
carry them on by your gracious assistance,
that every prayer and work of ours
may always begin from you
and through you be happily ended.
—A Prayer for Spiritual Freedom, frequently used by Jesuits to begin classes or meetings