28th Week in Ordinary Time
Ps 145:10–11, 12–13, 17–18
Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
1st Reading: 2 Tim 4:10–17b
You must know that Demas has deserted me for the love of this world: he returned to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke remains with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is a useful helper in my work. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
Bring with you the cloak I left at Troas, in Carpos’ house and also the scrolls, especially the parchments. Alexander the metalworker has caused me great harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. Distrust him for he has been very much opposed to our preaching.
At my first hearing in court no one supported me; all deserted me. May the Lord not hold it against them. But the Lord was at my side, giving me strength to proclaim the Word fully, and let all the pagans hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
Gospel: Lk 10:1–9
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where he himself was to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.
Whatever house you enter, first bless them saying: ‘Peace to this house.’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house.
When they welcome you in any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.’
Traditionally, the task of “reaping the harvest” has been left for priests and religious. Yet it is a universal call to every baptized Christian. Each of us is called to preach the good news, using our God-given gifts and the context in which we live. Luke, whose holy memory we keep today, was one such ordinary Christian who preached the gospel using his many gifts. Tradition reckons that Luke was a Gentile physician from Antioch (“our beloved physician,” Paul calls him [Col 4:14]), who joined the company of Paul and travelled with him in his mission tours and remained with him during his trials (“Only Luke remains with me,” says Paul [2 Tim 4:11]). During his association with Paul and other apostles, he learned much about Jesus and the early Church. What he learned he wrote down, giving us the Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. If one’s writings reveal one’s character, then the themes—mercy, compassion, desire for universal salvation, concern for the poor, total renunciation for Christ’s sake, prayer, and disarming honesty and candor—found in the two writings of Luke reveal much about him.
St. Luke, pray for us!
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