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Today’s Reading: Luke 10:1-12
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God hascome near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
appointed seventy: An episode only in Luke. It is the second missionary tour, since Jesus has sent out the Twelve with similar tasks. Jesus patterns his missionary effort on Moses, who commissioned 70 elders to be prophets in Israel (Num 11:24-25). The 71 members of the Jewish court, the Sanhedrin, had already modeled itself after this leadership structure of Moses and the 70 elders. At another level, this number alludes to Gen 10, which describes the origin of the 70 nations of the ancient world, not including Israel. The ministry of the 70 disciples thus anticipates the Church’s mission to the nations (24:47).