The sending of the Seventy-Two in today’s Gospel is reminiscent of the sending of the Twelve. In the Acts of the Apostles Luke also recalls the Apostles commissioning the Seven (Acts 6:1-6). Each of these groups has a particular role, but together the show the Church beginning to grow and expand. With the calling of the Seventy-Two Luke shows that even in Our Lord’s time on earth there was more work than the Twelve could handle. They learn this lesson and aren’t shy about appointing the Seven when the need arises.
Everyone is called to help in the work of evangelization and the building up of the Church, but not necessarily in the same way. Our Lord made distinctions based on needs, and so throughout history the Church has also called others to aid the bishops as the successors of the Apostles: priests and deacons.
Let’s keep all sacred ministers of the Church–bishops, priests, and deacons–in our prayers today.
Readings: Nehemiah 8:1–4a, 5–6, 7b–12; Psalm 19:8–11; Luke 10:1–12.