Sunday 3 July
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 10.1-12, 17-20
The first reading from the very end of the writings of Isaiah is unreservedly optimistic, it is an image of flourishing, of joy and fulfillment, and that vision is one which can be shared by those who have faith, because ‘It is to his servants the Lord will reveal his hand.’ Today’s readings are for those who, as disciples of Jesus Christ, seek to proclaim the Good News: here we have a match between the words of promise and hope from Isaiah and the commissioning and sending out of the seventy-two, who ‘came back rejoicing’. The experience of the seventy-two, who are able to proclaim the kingdom and subdue devils in Jesus’ name, is a powerful one, but note that Luke is very clear in insisting that they are sent out by the Lord, that it is his commissioning and it is his authority that they have – they are to rely on nothing of their own – no purse, no haversack, no sandals. And it is the same message they proclaim – whether to friendly or unfriendly hearers: ‘The kingdom of God is very near’.