This is an intriguing Gospel for several reasons. The first one is a detail at the beginning of this reading that goes by so quickly, we almost miss it. It says, “The Lord appointed seventy two others whom he sent ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place He intended to visit.” That means seventy two people besides the Apostles. Some say the number 72 was chosen to represent all the known nations of the earth at that time. But who were these 72? Where did they come from? What were their names? What happened to them? We don’t know because they are not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament. Strange isn’t it? Maybe they represent all of us who are called to bring in the harvest along with the apostles.
The Lord says to them, “ Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals…”. Its so easy for us to accumulate things. Both as Church and as individuals we need to simplify our lives. We need to simplify our lives materially because that can help to focus on the spiritual goods of friendship, faith, family that really make life worth living. There is such a thing as a slavery to things and possessions in the hope that they will insure happiness.
These words were also a call to us to simplify the mission of our life. Maybe we can plan to do too many things for the Lord. We can become involved in too many issues, try to do too much too soon and end up doing none of them well. It is not the drama of great results that will be our salvation. It the faithfulness of our daily living that prepare the way for Christ.
The simple truth that makes our life successful is one of daily fidelity. The simple goal of enriching everyone we come in contact with, even enemies, through the simple belief that they are created by God and are our brothers and sisters, we see our names written in heaven.