Like Lambs Among Wolves

Jul 2, 2019

Gospel Reflection, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Isaiah 66: 10-14c; Galatians 6: 14-18; Luke 10: 1-9

Like Lambs Among Wolves

Once when I was hiking in the Rocky Mountains with some friends, we decided to plan for an overnight hike.  Everything we had was on our backs, so every last detail had to be planned in such a way that we were very efficient.  We could not afford to carry any excess weight.  Even our sleeping bags were the size of a grapefruit, with the air being let out of them.

Jesus sends the Apostles and 72 out in pairs to every town so that they could tell them that the kingdom of God was at hand.  He says, “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.”  What does this mean for us?  Certainly we can see the advantages of packing light and how that enables us to go freely, but what is Jesus really saying?

Jesus gave them very clear rules for the mission.  Wherever missionaries have remained faithful, keeping to Jesus direction a blessing has eventually come from it.  When they have not, then often there were serious abuses and distortions down through the ages.  Today some religions and even ideologies are being promoted through compulsion, oppression and fear.  But Jesus wants us to be like lambs among wolves with great respect for people’s consciences and freedom.

He said to his missionaries not to be like ravenous wolves, but just the opposite – like lambs among wolves.  Many people around the world are killed simply because they stand up for the poor and for people with no rights because they are bringing the Gospel to the people.  Jesus himself lived as a poor man and trusted in God’s providence.  That is also what he wanted his missionaries to do.  He wanted them to be bold witnesses, but witnesses to his compassion, love and mercy toward all.  This example being lived out has often been more convincing than any words. 

The seventy-two came back and shared stories of all kinds of blessings.  This can be our story even right here in the community of Monticello or amongst our family and friends!

Father Tony