The Gospel on Sunday repeats the phrase, “the kingdom of God is at hand.” This repetition in the reading seems to emphasize that God’s kingdom is at the heart of the proclamation of the Gospel. These early followers of Christ are sent out to share the fact that God is very near. God’s very love and mercy are made present in their works as the sick are healed, evil is banished, and peace is manifest. Even in those places where the message is rejected, Jesus tells his followers to say that God’s kingdom is at hand.
In other words, the kingdom of God is not something that ultimately can be rejected. Jesus assures his followers that they have been given power over the wolves, snakes, and scorpions that they encounter, and he promises that nothing will harm them. God’s healing love, mercy, and justice always prevail, even over what appears to be rejection of this powerful, life-changing message.
Today, we as followers of Christ are sent out in the same way to spread the Good News of God’s healing presence and forgiving love. We, too, are called to remember that even though God’s Word is not always heard or accepted, the experience of God’s kingdom prevails. The Eucharist is our constant reminder of this enduring love and saving power. The kingdom of God is indeed near; let us rejoice and give thanks.
— Beth McIsaac Bruce
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 or Luke 10:1-9