When Christ sent those seventy evangelists (whose memory we commemorate today) as lambs amidst wolves asking them to forsake even the bare necessities (purse, bag and sandals – Lk. 10:4) He seems to have a pedagogy of faith in mind. The greatest lesson imparted by the Incarnation of God is that faith needs to be enfleshed and not simply explained. Our words need to take flesh as exemplified by the Word Himself. Had faith been a matter of verbiage there would have been no need of the Cross. So this mission was an opportunity for those evangelists to enflesh their faith. As St. Gregory the Theologian writes; “Grace is given not to them who speak their faith, but to those who live their faith.”
My spiritual father once told me “faith is fundamental openness.” It indeed is. Christ hanging naked on the Cross represents this fundamental openness. The strength and veracity of our faith is determined not by our sanctimonious piety but how vulnerable we choose to be in our daily lives. Christ by sending these evangelists exposes them to the realm of vulnerability. Yet our compassionate Saviour made sure to send them in pairs so that each has a companion to navigate the ordeals of the world.
Dearly beloved, unless we choose to be vulnerable we aren’t worthy to be called the faithful disciples of Christ. Let me conclude with the words of Soren Kierkegaard;
“Although the scribes could explain where the Messiah should be born, they remained quite unperturbed in Jerusalem. They did not accompany the wise men to seek him. Similarly we may be able to explain every article of our faith, yet remain spiritually motionless. The power that moved heaven and earth leaves us completely unmoved. What a contrast! The three kings had only a rumor to go by. But it spurred them to set out on a long, hard journey. The scribes, meanwhile, were much better informed, much better versed. They had sat and studied the scriptures for years, like so many dons. But it didn’t make any difference. Who had the more truth?”
Dayroyo Fr. Basil
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