2 Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; (or Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66:1-8); Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
“Do not waste yourself in rejection; do not bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Rejection is an adventure. Without rejection we just keep on keeping on. That’s not necessarily bad. But when we are sent packing we are challenged to do something new. That would be an act of creation. In doing something fresh we become partners with God in the ever evolving creation. Sometimes when we are rejected we simply close down, as if our lives are over. In today’s Gospel Jesus has a better way. He advises we to shake the dust from our feet and move on (Luke 10:11). We often read this passage of Jesus sending out the seventy (see Greek below) as some kind of religious activity reserved for a small select group of priests, nuns, pastors, preachers or foreign missionaries, like the Navy Seals of the Christian life. But Jesus is actually sending out billions and millions, all of us. We are all sent out to our various jobs, to our relationships, to our niche in life, our place where we make a difference. These are the places where we follow Jesus and carry out his teaching of love and concern for others. However, sometimes it just doesn’t work out, either by our own fault, or by the viciousness of others. Let us never think that God deliberately causes these rejections because he has something else for us to do. God does no evil. But God indeed does have something else for us to do. That is the challenge. God wants to join with us in creating our new life. So when we are rejected, shake the dust and pray “What now, God?”
Luke 10:1 and 10:17 refer to the “70” that Jesus sent out. Some translations say “72.” We do not have the originals of the Greek New Testament, but only copies. Some ancient copies say 70 and some say 72. Somewhere along the line someone made a change in the text, either by mistake or on purpose for some reason. We do not know which number is original. Some translations get around the issue by printing it thus: “seventy (-two).”
Sent packing gloomy.
But lift heads to novel life.
Spot what lies ahead.