On the journey to Jerusalem in the Gospel this coming Sunday, Jesus depots the disciples to prepare the way and welcome for him. They are given instructions. These instructions center on the concept and practice of giving witness, and the witness is to three things: peace, poverty, and proclamation. This is far from our culture today, and even from the church, dare it be said. We must ask ourselves if we authentically bear witness to these practices and if we are preparing the way of the Lord.

The seventy two return rejoicing in amazement at what they’ve seen. The imagery is bordering on the apocalyptic. The contrast between the kingdom of this world and the reign of God is sharply drawn. The reign of God is established through the three practices: peace, poverty, and proclamation. The rejoicing is not that the enemy has been overthrown, but that the reign of God is established, “their names written in heaven.”

Given Luke’s inclusion of women and his attention to them in the writing of this Gospel, one wonders if the seventy-two included women, and given the themes of this Gospel, one might very well think that it did. After all, no where does it say they were only men. Just back in Chapter 8, Luke lists the women following and supporting the work of the Gospel, and surely this wasn’t merely financial. The women too practiced the three principles by their actions. So far in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is consistently presented as quiet egalitarian.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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