The Harvest is rich, but Workers Are Few
A man concerted from a heartless paganism is struck by Christ, the Lord, who is concerned about the poor and the downtrodden; a physician, he is fascinated too by a man who is more than a man, Christ the Lord who heals the sick body and soul. This is the evangelist Luke. A jewel of his style is the tender description of the holy family in his Infancy Narrative. Among his main themes are God’s boundless forgiveness, prayer, the seriousness of the Christian life, the role of women in the Church, the universalism of a Church destined for all. These themes constantly reappear in the two books he wrote: his gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. For Luke, the harvest is rich and needs many workers from around the earth.

1 Reading: 2 Timothy 4:9-17
Beloved: Demas, enamoured of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching. At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18
R. (12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might. R.

Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations. R.

The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth. R.

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9
The Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where he himself was to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know. “Whatever house you enter, first bless them saying: ‘Peace to this house.’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. Do not move from house to house. “When they welcome you in any town, eat what they offer you. Heal the sick who are there and say to them: ‘The kingdom of God has drawn near to you.'”

Luke has stayed with Paul while others have left him and he asks Timothy to come and join them and bring Mark along too (they were friends in the work of the Lord). Poor Paul complains about others and his case in court. He says that everyone abandoned him, and yet Luke remained with him. Luke was an evangelist, a preacher and missionary, a leader in the early church, a companion to those in ministry, and a good friend it seems.
Luke’s gospel speaks of a community that goes out in twos to preach and to bring in the harvest that the Lord has created in others’ hearts. They are people dedicated to being a radical presence of the kingdom of God-where all are taken care of and everyone relies on the hospitality of one another. This is image of our God who is hospitable to us in Jesus and the Spirit. The message is that of peace-the peace of the Risen Lord, the peace of forgiveness and new life, the peace of the reign of God-justice, mercy, and initiation into the life of God in Jesus. Luke left the Word of the Lord as his best gift to the early church and to believers for all time. 
Luke was a healer, like Jesus. With him may we bring the healing power of our faith and love to the people around us, and may God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!


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