Gospel Lk 10:17-24
The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
Reflection by Naomi Mannino
“Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Early spring is a great time to get out in nature and appreciate God’s creation. One spring day, my family and I were taking a walk through a state park. We happen to travel two by two walking on the designated path. My husband and son walked faster and were somewhat ahead of my daughter and me. As we walked behind them, I saw my son jump over something on the path. Then he and my husband stopped on the path curiously watching that “something”. As we got closer to them, my husband signaled me to be quiet, because that something turned out to be a rattlesnake! Praise the Lord the snake was moving in a straight line and not coiled, ready to defend itself.
If danger lurks nearby, God protects us along the way and gives us what we need. We, in turn, should give thanks and praise for God’s almighty protection. When the seventy-two disciples returned from their mission, Jesus delighted in the Holy Spirit and gave praise to the Father. Then he gave his disciples a lesson of what is really important, the relationship we have with God.
The nature walk my family took was over long ago. And by now, that rattlesnake has lived most or all of its life. However, our walk with God should last forever. If we choose, our faith can be everlasting and our hearts can love into eternity. We can have a real relationship with the Almighty who wants us with Him forever. Let us not rejoice because of the miracles in our lives, but rejoice because our “names are written in heaven”.