The last few chapters of the Book of Isaiah speak of the time after the Jewish people returned from exile and faced the task of rebuilding Jerusalem. Given the sad effects of the exile, those were hard times. So the prophet spoke words of encouragement, reminding the people of the grand destiny that the Lord was restoring before them. The words of today’s reading are so filled with confidence and celebration, it must have been hard for the people to believe them.
It must have been the same experience for the seventy-two disciples that Jesus sent into the impoverished countryside of Samaria. People heard the proclamation that the Kingdom of God was about to break open before them. And the promise came to them from the lips of disciples who brought nothing with them other than the word of promise. Today’s gospel describes the effect this had on the people of Samaria.
Today’s second reading continues our reflection on Paul’s letter to the Galatians. When Paul says he boasts only in the cross of Christ, he means that everything valuable in his life is the result of what Christ had done for him and comes from Christ, and not from anything else. Paul was entirely focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.
—Walter Modrys SJ
This week’s readings can be found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.