“Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.”
Lk. 10: 3
“Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.”
Rite of Sending Option 2
“Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”
Rite of Sending Option 3
Deacons don’t say a lot at Mass (unless they are preaching). The witness of deacons is primarily one of silent service. A deacon’s primary speaking part in the liturgy is the proclamation of the Gospel. In fact, if they don’t introduce the Penitential Act or preach, the Deacon at Mass says less than 20 words besides the Gospel. The deacon invites us to offer the sign of peace and sends us forth.
These two invitations speak to our role as disciples of Jesus. As disciples we are called to witness to peace within our community (the sign of peace). We are also invited to go forth and transform the world by announcing the Gospel and living holy lives.
Today’s Gospel recalls that as disciples we are sent forth to transform the world. Jesus reminds the seventy-two disciples that the mission before them is vast (the harvest is abundant and the laborers are few), and that there will be challenges (we are sent as lambs among wolves). We are sent from Mass knowing this is true. Proclaiming the Gospel is still a daunting task.
But we are not alone. God’s power goes with us in our mission. In the Gospel, the disciples return rejoicing because they have experienced God’s power in their proclamation (“even the demons are subject to us”). We can experience the same thing! We are sent as lambs among wolves, but God tends His lambs and writes our names in heaven.
As Jesus sent forth the 72, we are sent forth this week to “announce the Gospel of the Lord” and “glorify the Lord by your life.”
Lincoln A. Wood