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Luke 10:4

Gospel Lectio Divina for Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 3, 2022

By David Kilby

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.



Lk 10:1-12, 17-20 

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
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 his 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.'
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
'The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.'
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town."

The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said,
"Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name."
Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to 'tread upon serpents' and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."



The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few

God always provides. If my deepest desires–the ones God put on my heart–remain unfulfilled, it’s because I am not putting the gifts God gave me to full use. In my pursuit of such desires, I have found that sometimes it’s up to me to garner results. Other times the rewards of getting what I want are completely up to God’s providence. I want more people to be saved. God wants the same thing, so that is how I know that desire of mine comes from God. If I want more people to be saved, I have to go out into the field and collect the harvest God has provided. What does that mean? Read Scripture, his word that is filled with life. Study Church teaching, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. Jesus uses the analogy of an abundant harvest because it is full of life just as he is full of life. But when I am not in God’s will I say things like, “I hate my life”. When I am opposed to life I am opposed to God’s will because he is the giver of life. 

I am sending you like lambs among wolves

I never liked the way Jesus compares us to lambs or sheep. Lambs and sheep are slow and stupid. They hardly have a will of their own. They follow their herd and spook easily. Who wants to be labeled as such? We’ve all heard the expression “stubborn as a mule”. Lambs are the opposite of that. I’ve always considered myself to be stubborn, set in my ways, determined and assertive. Lambs live by the philosophy of  “eh, whatever”. “I guess, I’ll go this way because that’s where I’m being led,” they usually think. It is this trusting quality of lambs that Jesus intends to highlight. When he says to his disciples, “I am sending you like lambs among wolves”, he is not warning the disciples about possible sneak attacks from their enemies. He is telling them to be careful who they follow, who they trust. Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Wolves will often scout a herd before attacking. They’ll wait around close by, even in sight of the herd so the sheep get used to them. Wolves are very smart. They know about sheep dogs who are trained to protect the sheep. A wolf on the prowl won’t act much differently than a sheep dog on the watch. 

In the Church today, as always, disciples of Christ need to be on the lookout for wolves in their congregation. Many who claim to be followers of Christ are just looking to take advantage of his followers in some way. Christ said they will be like lambs among wolves, but the reverse is also true. The devil also sent many wolves to linger among the lambs. 

Being a lamb in such circumstances is a very dire lot. It makes no sense to choose such a lot without the Shepherd. But having a Shepherd like the Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, changes everything. He raises his herd up to a higher calling. With the Good Shepherd, we are guided to greener pastures and clearer water. We are protected by his rod and staff. We have no need for sheep dogs, because we are receiving our guidance and protection from a higher being, one who knows what is best for us more than we can know in our fallen human nature.      

Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals

This instruction is especially appealing to me. It reminds me of one of my favorite George Strait songs, “Carrying Your Love with Me” where he sings “All I have is this beat up leather bag. And all I have don’t even fill up half.” Similarly, the love of Christ was all his disciples needed. I’ve always been attracted to the reckless abandonment of Christian discipleship, the simple spirituality that reminds us that God will provide all that we need if and when we choose to follow him. That’s why, in these lectio divina reflections, I do not rely on my own studiousness to share what insights I receive from reading Scripture. When I write these, I set out like a disciple of Christ with “no money bag, no sack, no sandals.” In other words, I write with no stack of books, no advanced degree, no renowned theologian at my side. It’s just me and God because that’s what lectio divina ought to be. The reflections are personal and shared in the first person, because a journey to God and a relationship with him can be nothing but personal. There is a place for exegesis, or deep dives into Scripture. Similarly, over the centuries, disciples of Christ found that there is a place for established churches and orders. But there will always be a need for a reminder that the first followers of Christ set out to spread the kingdom of God with very little in their possession. As witnesses for Christ, their mission was to prove that their dependence on God was genuine and thorough. St. Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Order revived that spirituality 1200 years later, and it’s still somewhat alive today among that order–among other places in the Church. 

The simplicity of discipleship in Christ is important to remember, because it’s tempting to get bogged down by the worries of “doing it right” by today’s standards. Some people who want to follow Christ more fully may think they need to enter religious life, or join an order, or get a degree in theology, or at least some kind of certificate saying they’re legit. While all of these things could be good, we’re all called to follow Christ in unique ways. So go as you are and proclaim the kingdom of God, no prerequisites required. 



Lord Jesus,

I know I am unworthy of your gifts and your calling to spread your kingdom. It is by sheer grace that I have been given the mission to evangelize. That is my calling as a baptized Christian though. Give me the wisdom and courage needed to bring more souls into your kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.



Jesus has many instructions to give us along our journey of discipleship. Using Scripture and Church teaching as our guide, let’s listen to him and go where he tells us. Christianity is a contemplative and active religion. Let our contemplation of God’s word lead us to virtuous action that will bring salvation to others. 

Kilby is a freelance writer from New Jersey and managing editor of Catholic World Report


 Glory to the Father The Son and The Holy Spirit


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