Jesus has a vision in today’s Gospel — Satan falling like lightning from the sky, the enemy vanquished by the missionary preaching of his Church.

Sent out by Jesus to begin gathering the nations into the harvest of divine judgment (see Isaiah 27:12–13; Joel 4:13), the 70 are a sign of the continuing mission of the Church.

Carrying out the work of the 70, the Church proclaims the coming of God’s kingdom, offers his blessings of peace and mercy to every household on earth — “every town and place he intended to visit.”

Our Lord’s tone is solemn today. For in the preaching of the Church “the kingdom of God is at hand,” the time of decision has come for every person. Those who do not receive his messengers will be doomed like Sodom.

But those who believe will find peace and mercy, protection and nourishment in the bosom of the Church, the Mother Zion we celebrate in today’s beautiful First Reading, the “Israel of God” Paul blesses in today’s Epistle.

The Church is a new family of faith (see Galatians 6:10) in which we receive a new name that will endure forever (see Isaiah 66:22), a name written in heaven.

In today’s Psalm we sing of God’s “tremendous deeds among men” throughout salvation history. But of all the works of God, none has been greater than what he has wrought by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Changing the sea into dry land was but an anticipation and preparation for our passing over, for what Paul calls the “new creation.”

And as the exodus generation was protected in a wilderness of serpents and scorpions (see Deuteronomy 8:15), he has given his Church power now over “the full force of the Enemy.”

Nothing will harm us as we make our way through the wilderness of this world, awaiting the Master of the harvest, awaiting the day when all on earth will shout joyfully to the Lord, sing praise to the glory of his name.


Scott Hahn is founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, stpaulcenter.com.

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Highlights

Isaiah 66:10–14 

Psalms 66:1–7, 16, 20 

Galatians 6:14–18 

Luke 10:1–12, 17–20