Today's reading from Luke's Gospel paints a vivid picture of a profound message that resonates deeply in our current times.
We read about the sending of the seventy-two disciples in Luke's Gospel. As we delve into this passage, I thought I could reflect on several things, such as the idea of being sent "like lambs into the midst of wolves" in the trials of our present time. Indeed, following Christ is challenging when there is so much division and social discord all around us. Or I could reflect on Jesus telling his disciples to "carry no purse, no bag, no sandals." Their lack of material support would force them to trust God completely!
Jesus Sent Them Out in Pairs
But instead, what stood out to me the most was what Jesus told them to bring: one another. Jesus sent them out in pairs. The most essential resource in their mission to spread the Gospel was not money or supplies for the journey but rather each other. Jesus knew that if he sent them out together, they could each lean on the other when things were difficult. They were sent out in pairs, and this simple act carries profound wisdom. And as in the Old Testament era, a worthy witness of two people was necessary to take anything seriously.
There is a famous African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
This proverb emphasizes the importance of collaboration, teamwork, and community. The saying suggests that working independently might be more efficient when hurrying to accomplish something quickly. However, building relationships and working together with others is essential if your goal is to achieve something significant over the long term.
Teamwork and cooperation can provide strength and resilience. When you have others to share the burden and offer diverse perspectives, you are better equipped to overcome challenges and setbacks. Travelling with others can also be a personal growth and learning journey. Going far suggests sustainability and longevity.
Who Would You Walk With?
Sometimes, we need to be alone in prayer with God, but most of the time, we benefit significantly from walking this faith journey with people close to us. When our friends and family are with us in the task of being good disciples and spreading the Gospel, they support us and challenge us to do more and be better.
And so, as we reflect on this passage today, I urge you to consider who you would want to walk with if you were sent out as a missionary today. Who are the companions who would stand by your side in the face of adversity? Who would you share this incredible faith journey with in spreading the Gospel?
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.
Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.