Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 24: Year 2
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
As I read this good news for the 70 “others” who just returned, I ponder who they were. Jesus has previously sent out the twelve apostles on a similar mission among whom was Judas Iscariot who would betray Jesus later. So who among these seventy others were also not so honorable? Was Jesus prematurely handing out passage into heaven?
As a priest I see my ministry as one who coaches people into heaven. I want them to be the best people they can possibly be. I also need people to know and understand that should they make a mistake later in life, our God is a merciful God. This comes with a caution however.
As we enter the company of saints in heaven we can’t be upset about Judas and others we know who may be present there. We are not to judge, only love. This love, not judge idea, must start now, in this life. Jealousy, vengeance, retaliation and all such feelings are toxic to our hearts and could work against our own entry into heaven.
The experience the seventy received was life changing. The same is true for us today. Have you realized any miracles in your life? I will tell you that I have, several times. They have occurred in your life as well, but you may not have “realized” it. I can never see where God is, but I can easily see where God was in my life. And I am thankful.
Rejoice when you realize that God has acted in your life. I do. But be even happier that because God is present with you now, you will be present with God for all eternity, even with some folk you didn’t care so much for in this life. We can’t say who will not be in heaven. That’s God’s job. We just need to work on ourselves, and our less than loving feelings toward some people we have come to know. The seventy were thirty-five pairs of people on a mission for our Lord Jesus. Maybe even among these pairs of people there was some resentment. Perhaps what they saw as they went out to do the work of the Lord was more about themselves. Some people in high human positions miss this opportunity. Jesus said to the seventy, “For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it” (Luke 10:24). Let go of ill wills. Just let go and let God. God is tricky. Sometimes God will send you out to find your own inner self.
The war against Ukraine seems to go back and forth. Please keep Ukraine in your prayers.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John