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Saturday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

This Gospel opens as the disciples are returning home from a mission trip. The seventy-two disciples are rejoicing and elated. They said to Jesus: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” These disciples realized that it was not their power that enabled them to work wonders. Rather, these wonders were wrought by the power of Jesus’ name. However, Jesus cautions the disciples not to rejoice over their “power.” Rather they should rejoice because their names are written in heaven.

Power is extremely seductive! We often hear stories of “how the mighty have fallen” because they were seduced by power of money or control or perhaps by their lack of self-esteem. Our human reality is that we all need a healthy sense of personal power. We need to know that we do have a voice. We need to know that we have the power to make decisions and that we also can influence others. Yet if we are not mindful, our need for control or power may begin to control us! We often hear stories of corrupted individuals who were seduced by power and the fruits of power. Today Jesus instructs his disciples (us) to rejoice not because “spirits” are subject to us. Rather we are to rejoice because our names are written in heaven!

Jesus’ desire for his disciples is that they rejoice in God and in God’s love for them. Rejoicing in God is to be their primary quest and their aim. Today may we strive to be mindful of God’s love and presence with us! Truly, there is no greater gift! May we rejoice in this precious gift!

Let us pray: Lord, Jesus, we can identify with Luke’s portrait of the slow-learning twelve. In this time when the pandemic brings us to a virtual stand-still, and forces us to cope with the basic human needs of our own kin, please open our minds and hearts to hear what your words call us to today and to be inspired by your example and truly act on your call. Send your Holy Spirit afresh to recrate us as your people. Thank you for giving us Francis in this time of history. We appreciate that his teaching and preaching builds on that of his predecessors in the role of Peter, but also the divine wisdom of your own incarnate expression and example. Help us share in your humanity and trust in your divinity. We take hope in your power to convert us to become fit to join you in your mission. Save and enliven us and our posterity in the service of one another and in the care of the special gift of our planet. We understand that eternal life with you has been inaugurated in this world with your love of the 12 and the 72. Lord, in your mercy save us.

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