There is a sense of joyous celebration in all the readings today. In the psalm the whole earth is invited to make a joyful cry to God. All these calls for joy are made because our God cares and we have a home in Him!
Isaiah invites us to rejoice with Jerusalem because of the abundance of everything in her, of course, provided by God. Isaiah and many prophets were speaking to the returnees from exile or to the exiles and conveyed the message that even when in exile they were being cared for and their tribulations were only for a while.
The disciples on their mission in the towns and villages as heralds of Jesus, experience his power and presence on their way and they come back rejoicing. They rejoiced because they could do the same things as Jesus did when they were on their mission for Jesus. However, Jesus tells them that they have a greater and better reason to rejoice, that is, their names are written in heaven, a registration for the eternal banquet!
That is the promise and reward for believing in Jesus and going on his mission. And his mission is to be the Good News to this world, hope to those who do not have it, love for those who thirst and hunger for it. That was what Christianity brought to this world and is being brought even to this day. There have been bad sheep among Christians. In spite of them goodness prevails in and with the community of Christians and once we willingly and positively involve ourselves with this goodness, we too will experience it in our lives. We will enjoy the fruits of the Good News by becoming the good news.
The words of Jesus
“The harvest is plentiful”
is still true, for us, in our time, in our townships and in all our gatherings in the church and outside. The question is ‘are we willing to be the laborers, willing to be the good news, willing to be the peace of God to this world, willing to say “Peace to this house!”? Jesus is still on his way, looking for people, as we have been reflecting in the last week’s readings, to find some to whom he can boldly say,
“Follow me, … go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59, 60b)
He looks for some to join St Paul in his assertion,
“May I never boast of anything except the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14)