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seventy-two is characterized by the Lucan Jesus as a symbolic fall of Satan. As the kingdom of God is gradually being established, evil in all its forms is being defeated; the dominion of Satan over humanity is at an end.


Luke 10: 1-12; 17-20


1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. 2 He said to them, “The Harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. 3 Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. 4 Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. 5 Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ 6 If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. 8 Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is sent before you, 9 cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ 10 Whatever town you enter and do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, 11 ‘The dust of your town clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this:


the kingdom God is at hand. 12 I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than that town.


17The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” 18 Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. 19 Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”


REFLECTION:


Jesus sends the disciples to declare that the Kingdom of God is at hand. He sends them in pairs with the instruction to take nothing of their own. He wants them to experience his power working through them. When they return they rejoice in the fact that they cast out evil spirits and healed people. Jesus is quick to point out that he alone has the power to do things and they would not have been successful unless his power had been with them.


All ministers are called and sent by the Risen Jesus in the person of the bishop. Their mission is to bring the good news to the world. They must be sure that their message is as free as possible of their own cultural trappings---in other words---they should bring nothing with them but the Gospel. They must present the message in a gentle and inviting way allowing the power of Jesus to do the work of conversion.


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