Having sent out His 12 Apostles on a similar mission (Luke 9:1-6), Jesus commissions an expanded group of 70 disciples on a second wave of evangelization.  Christ’s decision to send 70 is prophetic: Moses appointed 70 elders (Num 11:24-25); Genesis describes the all the ancient world as 70 nations (Gen 10) which Jesus will later command to be evangelized (Matt 24:47).

Christ confidently directs His 70 men with precise instructions: He warns of attacks on evangelists (the wolves) and that people and whole cities will reject the Gospel, resulting in their doom (v. 12; see also v. 13-16); He tells disciples to go in poverty (no purse, bag, sandals) and to rely on charity, establishing a firm base in each town with one receptive host; He directs them to preach of the Kingdom and heal the sick; He calls for the public rebuke and warning of destruction for those who reject the Gospel (“It will be more tolerable on that day for Sodom”).

The 70 return with joy having cast out demons in the Name of Jesus.  Christ confirms their efforts in Him bring an advance of His Kingdom and the fall of Satan. He grants superhuman powers, including immunity from deadly snakes/scorpions and the attacks of the enemy (Satan). Christ ends with a warning to not rejoice in the powers granted but that He will list them as saints in Heaven.

Awed by Jesus Christ – As a Person of the Trinity, the Son of God establishes and perfects models (i.e. “70”) in Salvation History. Almighty King and Lord, Christ grants authority and decisively directs His men to fight for His Kingdom in the Spiritual Combat against Satan. Divine Judge, Jesus warns of the horrific destruction of those who reject the Gospel and reaffirms the destruction of Sodom.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ, the Lion of Judah, has been emasculated by many in contemporary Christianity by failing to proclaim His strong calls about battling Satan and sin and His explicit warnings about destruction for those who reject Him.  Reread today’s Gospel (include the omitted v. 13-16 for good measure) and ponder the commanding presence and manliness of the Almighty King.

2) The recent campaign to normalize homosexual acts is a rejection of God and mimics the decay of ancient Sodom. Realize the Christ, as a member of the Trinity, destroyed Sodom for homosexual acts and Jesus affirms Sodom’s destruction in today’s Gospel.  Pray of all people with homosexual desires (and the many, many millions more who are lost in the deadly sin of lust in pornography) to repent and for Christ’s mercy.  Go to Confession.

3) Christ calls His disciples to evangelize the world (Matt 24:47) which results in great joy (v. 17) and for Christ to write their names as saints in Heaven (v. 20). Commit to learn the basics of evangelization and to profess your faith to your family, friends and those Christ brings to you.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity

Virtue of the Day – Charity

Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner