Gospel: Luke 10,1-12,17-20)
Sometimes, we priests hear people say to us: “You have a hard job” or “It is part of your job to do this”. I often react very strongly to the word “job” because the life of Jesus and that of a priest is much more than that. Who has ever spoken about the “job “of Jesus? Jesus said that he is sent by the Father. He had a mission rather than a job. The mission of Jesus ended on the cross with the sacrifice of his life to his Father and for us. Is this sacrifice a “job”? Of course it is not. This is what the priest is all about: he is chosen by God to preach the good news of the Gospel, to give the sacraments, to spend time in prayer, to make people encounter Jesus.
“The Lord appointed seventy two others and sent them out of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit.” (Luke10,1)
Is it going to be easy for them to follow Jesus once invested of his divine power to perform miracles? He prepares them for trials when he prophesised: “I am sending you out like lambs among wolves”.
They will teach with his authority; they will die as he died, out of love for the Father and for all people. Jesus asks his disciples to take nothing for their journey. Why? He wanted them to completely rely on him and one another.
Yet, parents are called by Jesus to be apostles to their own children invested with the same mission. Married life also involves many sacrifices. I saw my own parents living an edifying Christian way of life. I thank them so much for the witness of their daily prayer and strong faith to their six children. They made us encounter Jesus especially when visiting him at the tabernacle. They also carried their many crosses with charitable patience with my autistic brother and one of my sisters who attempted suicide and finally died years later of alcoholism. Dad bore the cross while battling cancer for two years.
Finally let us underline that Jesus asks that we pray to see more “labourers” in his Church. Do we want priests for the future? What is the role of parents to teach the Catholic Faith to their children?