"The fundamental task of the evangelization of culture is the challenge to make God visible in the human face of Jesus.”- Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Bishops of Ontario, Castel Gondolfo, Italy Sept. 8, 2006
(Gospel Text: LK 10:1-9)
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
A few decades ago, a team of salespeople would have mapped out their territory and assigned a particular town to each salesperson. The salespeople would go to every home in that town, and if the door opened, they would try to sell their product, whether it was vacuum cleaners, encyclopedias, suits, or anything else.
Now, in the age of huge department stores and Internet shopping, that personal approach isn’t practical anymore. Some might even call it old-fashioned and inefficient.
But that’s not the way Jesus looks at things. In fact, he used an “oldfashioned” approach when he sent out the seventy-two disciples. He could have just beamed his message of salvation into people’s brains and avoided all the messiness using ordinary human beings. Instead, he chose rough-hewn tradesmen and their wives to go out and deliver it personally. He sent them to demonstrate his message in action and then tell people that the kingdom of God was at hand.
We may wonder why Jesus would use such low tech means to announce the good news. He certainly isn’t against technology. He might indeed have used the tools of our media-drenched age if they had existed at the time. But then again, he might not. Think about the number of messages that are thrown at you every day. Would you pay attention to one more text message, one more tweet, or one more sound bite? Wouldn’t you be more likely to pay attention to a living, breathing person whose life has been changed by Christ? That’s why the disciples were so effective.
That’s also why Jesus has appointed you to be his witness