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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke is the only evangelist to mention 72 disciples sent out ahead of Jesus. This would indicate that he already had far more trusted followers than just the twelve. In a way they were like John the Baptist, preparing the way for the Messiah. People who travel often load themselves with far more items than they need, preparing for every eventuality. Jesus wanted them to concentrate on the task ahead and to take only the bare essentials so as to be free of distractions. He also commanded them to stay in the one place, presumably so as to avoid wasting time moving around. Also, if they went from one house to another, there might have been competition between the various hosts or hostesses as to who could provide the best board and lodging!

As Christians our mission is the same, to make Christ known to others. An elderly nun, whom we’ll call Sister Anne, met a couple of girls from a neighbouring school. They were so impressed with her commonsense spirituality that they brought their friends to see her. It became a custom to go over to Sister Anne in their lunch break. Soon they were joined by some boys. When the class graduated they sent word to the class below them and they continued the practice of visiting Sister Anne. She made Christ present to those young people in a way that made sense to them.

Christ has no body on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ looks out to the world.
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless others now.
— St Teresa of Avila