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.
I imagine Jesus addressing me. My response, while honest, is disappointing: “You’re sending me among wolves? Thanks, Lord, but no thanks. Send someone else.”
I wonder why am I afraid to be sent out into the harvest. Am I afraid I will be judged harshly by others? Am I afraid I will make fool of myself? Am I afraid that I will not be effective?
These fears reveal that I am overly concerned about my reputation, and this concern is more burdensome than any purse, bag, or sandals. I want people to think well of me, and I’m afraid that somehow, people will decide that I’m not educated, holy, or talented enough to work in the fields of the Lord. Better to let other, more talented people do the important stuff.
Despite these fears, the Lord still calls me. May I receive the grace to respond wholeheartedly.
—Bob Burnham is a Secular Franciscan, spiritual director, and author of Little Lessons from the Saints: 52 Simple and Surprising Ways to See the Saint in You published by Loyola Press.
Take Lord, and receive all my concerns, worries, and hesitancy.
You have called me into your harvest.
That is enough for me. Amen.