Having sent out His 12 Apostles on a similar mission (Luke 9:1-6), Jesus commissions an expanded group of 70 disciples, giving them  precise instructions and sending them on a second wave of evangelization. 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 to rejoice because He will list their names as saints in Heaven.

In just a few short lines, Christ’s prayer to the Father is a powerful blessing that reveals the closeness of the Father and the Son. He reveals the perfect love between the Father and the Son. He reveals His perfect obedience to and reverence for the Father. He expresses His heart-deep thanks for His Father’s blessings. He acknowledges the power the Father has given Him in the world. He confirms the Father’s dominion over Creation.

Christ’s prayer also reveals how men can draw closer to God. Through His example, Christ demonstrates how men can speak with God. He reveals that through the Father’s gracious will, God is hidden from the arrogant (self-proclaimed “wise”) and revealed to the innocent (infants); that only through humble obedience and dependence, men can be open to receiving Christ’s Wisdom. To receive Wisdom, He reveals that the only way to God the Father is through the Son. After Christ’s prayer, He privately reveals to the disciples the profound blessing they have been given in their witness of His prayer in the Holy Spirit to the Father.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Person of the Trinity, Christ reveals glimpses of the relationship of the Father and the Son. Son of God, Jesus asserts that God has the power to influence the lives of men and does so. Almighty King, Christ reveals that only through Him can men be drawn to the Father. Divine Teacher, Christ reveals the profound blessing the disciples have been given in their witness of Christ’s conversation with the Father.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) The modern world seduces men to believe that the world is all there is and all that matters. Reflect on Christ’s vision of Satan, His insistence on the reality of Heaven, His rejoicing in the Holy Spirit and His personal conversation with the Father; be in awe of Christ’s Divinity.

2) With the world in sinful descent and the Church’s continuing loss of men, it is tempting to lose hope. Satan promotes despair and rejoices in the loss of hope. Reflect on Christ’s vision of “Satan falling from the sky”, knowing Christ has guaranteed that Catholic Church will not succumb to Satan’s attacks (Matt 16:17-19).  Pray for Christ to fill you with a resilient hope that thwarts Satan’s constant attacks to sow despair.

3) With concerns about the world and a man’s own cares, it is often challenging to be joyful.  In this reading, the source of man’s joy is reveal: the 70 rejoice in their service to Christ and Christ rejoices in the love of the Father. Pray to Christ, asking Him to work through you, to show you the Father and to be filled with joy.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead