From among the disciples, Jesus appointed 72 ….
You had chosen the twelve Apostles to share Your mission, Lord. They were the symbol of the rooting of Your Church in the People of God. We are grafted to the twelve tribes of Israel, recalls St. Paul. (Rom.11). But You have come for all people, Jesus. Since the Bible counted 72 nations in the world (Gen 10). The choice of 72 disciples expresses Your wish to carry the Good News to all people, to tell everyone, all peoples, of the love of the Father for His children. These towns and places where you should go are those of the whole world.
He sent them ahead of Him …
You want to need people for Your work….. You wanted to need Mary in order to take on our human nature…. You wanted to need John the Baptist to prepare for Your coming… You want to need us to come into the world of to-day… Like the 72 disciples, You send us out ahead of You. You send us to announce that the kingdom of God is near, to invite hearts to be open to You, to welcome Your message, Your message of peace, of love: Whatever house you go into, let your first words be: Peace to this house! …
He sent them in pairs….
For this message to be spread more effectively, You send Your disciples in pairs. The Law of Moses demanded two or three witnesses to convey or support something. You want above all that they convey this peace in the first place by their example…. You send us to-day to a hardened, egoistical world, where violence reigns, “Every man for himself” … Let us be true messengers of love for all people through our mutual love in the first place: You have prayed for this: that they may be one… so that the world may believe! (Jn.17:21).
Through Your Eucharist, come and put this love into us, Lord Jesus! And with You, we pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers… Increase Lord, these messengers of Your love!