In the chapter before today's Gospel,
Luke tells the story of the sending of
the twelve apostles,
symbolic of the twelve tribes
representing the church's mission to Israel.
Matthew and Mark also tell of
the sending of the twelve.
Luke, though, is the only one
who adds the
sending of the seventy-two
that we heard in today's Gospel.
twelve, the seventy-two is symbolic.
A little background here:
manuscripts of Luke's gospel
differ about the number—
it's seventy in
some, seventy-two in others.
In Genesis Moses chose seventy elders to help
and Jacob had seventy descendents.
Both seventy and
may also symbolize the number of nations in the world—
Hebrew text of Genesis says seventy nations,
the Greek text
Whichever number is used,
it stands for the mission of the
church to the whole world
and shows the understanding of the early
that they were sent to proclaim Jesus' message
to all people
And that message
begins with peace.
They are to be bearers of peace everywhere they
telling people that God is in charge,
not the violent or the greedy or
As Luke writes it, “The reign of God is at hand for
Comparing the ways the
described the sending of the disciples
makes it clear that
the early church communities
freely adapted Jesus' words to their own
The word of God is not abstract.
It doesn't exist in a
God's word is alive,
and like our ancestors in faith,
interpret God's word
to learn how we are called and sent to preach the good
We are the ones who are sent now,
apostles of peace in our
But how can we possibly
bring peace to this world?
Or maybe the question is how we can BE peace In
Down at Claver House
this week I noticed Katy being peace.
She and her husband Rob are regular
Katy greets folks by name when they come in.
Whenever a bag of
donated clothes arrives,
she unpacks it and folds things on the
calling out to folks, “Shirley, this would look great on you!”
“Matt, wouldn't your granddaughter like this?”
When Katy notices someone near
her with an empty coffee cup,
she'll get up and get them a refill.
does all this with cheerful respect.
And Rob… whenever one of the guests
starts to get loud,
or, two of the guests let an argument get out of
Rob calmly and firmly asks them to quiet down.
I've seen him defuse
some situations that could have turned nasty.
Katy and Rob are peace in the
Then there's Barbara
From her experience
with the anti-racism “Dialogue-to-Change”
she realized that her life did not include people of color.
she worked with black people,
and she went to church with them.
went home to a white suburb.
So she decided to integrate her social
She began to invite participants in her group
to supper at her
eventually resulting in new friendships
among a half dozen or so
of different races and
I remember my Aunt
Anne being peace in the world.
She preached with her actions,
her five boys,
welcoming their neighborhood buddies into the house
smiles and snacks
and always an invitation to stay for the next
Whenever a new family moved into the neighborhood,
she was on the
step with a cake to welcome them.
She volunteered at the Church.
sure people had what they needed,
whether it was a ride to the doctor's
office or a listening ear.
She was a good listener,
asking the right
questions and never criticizing.
Kind and generous, she preached peace in her
peace in the neighborhood, peace in her parish—
just by being
who she was, all without saying a word.
Aunt Anne had the marks of Jesus in
marks made by a life of gentleness and a loving
In our second reading
St. Paul says he's been troubled so much—
stoning, chains, beatings—
he considers his scars
to be like the marks of Jesus on his body.
turned away from his deadly persecution of Christians
to preach peace and
We may not have the marks of Jesus on our
but we can bear the marks of Jesus in our hearts.
Those marks are
visible, especially in the world we live in.
They're the ones that John's
will make all people know that we are Jesus' disciples—
we love one another.
No one of
us can bring peace to the Middle East.
No one of us can stop the killings on
our city's streets.
What we can do is be peace right where we are.
Tom McDonald and Sharon Havelak
and the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition,
can stand on a street corner and hold up a sign.
Like Katy and Rob at Claver
we can urge peace in the middle of turmoil.
we can build friendships with people who are different from
Like my Aunt Anne, we can reach out with hospitality and concern
family and friends and
Our hearts will grow
when we walk the way that Jesus taught,
and we too will become
peace in the world.
We will be apostles of peace,
living signs of love
that can soothe tempers,
and heal wounds.
Glory be to
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30
p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue (Washington