Today’s Gospel may seem like a brief introduction to what will follow in Chapter 8 of Luke’s Gospel. Certainly, there are more vivid scenes and parables to come that will illustrate Jesus’ message of the new kingdom of God. But, even in its simplicity, today’s Gospel provides much that we can apply to our daily lives as disciples of Christ.
First, we read that Jesus and those closest to Him, the twelve apostles and the women with them went from town-to-town preaching and proclaiming the Good News. Jesus continually went to meet people in their environment. While we gather each week at our spiritual home, the Church, we can bring the good news to the people in our own neighborhoods who don’t yet know the joy of a Christ-filled life. We make friends with our neighbors through our hospitality, which leads to opportunities to care for their needs. We evangelize them first by our example. How we live, the joy we have in serving others, the care and support we provide when a neighbor is in need is what first opens the door to Christ’s love to a non-Christian. When our neighbor feels loved, cared for, and welcome despite their background or ethnicity, they want to know what makes us act this way. Then is when the opportunity to tell them how our lives are directed by our love for Jesus and the Church He founded takes place.
Second, three women are named who have had their lives changed by the healing mercy of Jesus. Jesus had ministered to Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna as well as many other women by driving out evil spirits and healing their infirmities. In gratitude, the women traveled with Jesus and provided for Jesus and his disciples out of their personal resources. In a very concrete way, through their financial support, these women were a vital part of Jesus’ ministry. Their stewardship provided for the continuation of Jesus’ ministry. They were acting out of gratitude for the new life Jesus gave them. Our gratitude for the graces we have received from Jesus should lead to similar stewardship within our local church. Our financial support is just as necessary in today’s world to provide a place of worship, formation, and community as it was necessary for the work of Jesus and the early disciples.
God in his infinite power needs no one, but in his wisdom and love, he chooses to entrust his work through each one of us. No one is unimportant or unnecessary in God's economy. Jesus needs each of us, in our neighborhoods and in our churches, to be grateful stewards of His love and mercy.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Will the people we encounter today recognize us as followers of Jesus?