Introduction to the Eucharist
The general theme of today’s mass is mission. The church is missionary by her very nature. It is her vocation to reach out to people and to save them.
1st Reading (Isaiah 66: 10-14)
This is one of the last readings from that group of persons whom we call the school of Isaiah. The subject of the reading is the New Jerusalem which they hope will follow after the Babylonian captivity. It can also be applied to the church as we know her today but above all to the church of eternal life.
2nd Reading (Gal 6:14-18)
The First Christians of Galatia were all of pagan, gentile origin. Some Christian Jews had disturbed them by insisting that the keeping of the Law of Moses was necessary for salvation. Paul insists that the only way to salvation is the cross of Christ and faith and abandonment to that cross of our Lord.
Gospel (Lk 10:1-12, 17-20)
Theme: The Christian Mission
In St. Luke’s gospel there were two sections devoted to the mission of the church. Jesus had already sent out the twelve. In today’s gospel he also sends out seventy others in pairs: that would mean teams comprising thirty five units in all. This is something proper to St. Luke and he obviously had some sources which were not available to the other three evangelists.
In an agricultural society which together with pasturage constituted the economic life of Palestine, the mention of the harvest was particularly evocative, appealing as it did to such a rich heritage of feeling and emotion? The idea of the harvest was something eschatological. The harvest was the end and the climax of the agricultural year. It therefore also suggested the end and climax of history as we experience it. Hence in some of the psalms the mention of the harvest is rich with such eschatological undertones. Thus the way was prepared for Jesus himself to compare the eschatological kingdom to a great harvest.
The two Bases of Mission
There are only two world religions...