カトリック上福岡教会

説教

Meditation on the Coming of the Kingdom of God

A Monthly Meditation on the Gospel
according to St. Luke 10:1-9

November, 2020
Father John Satoru Kato,
The Parish in Kamifukuoka

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Be sure of this: The Kingdom of God is very near”. (Luke 10:11)

The Lord Jesus tells this Good News to us, all of His disciples, and asks all of us to proclaim that truth, “The Kingdom of God is very near”, with confidence because Jesus Himself will be surely visiting all the people in all the towns and places of the world as it is promised in the St. Luke’s Gospel;

‘The Lord Jesus appointed 72 other disciples and sent them out ahead of Him in pairs, to all the towns and places Jesus Himself would be visiting. (Luke 10:1)

I have to say, however, that it will not be the first time for the Lord Jesus to visit all the people in their towns and places. You must be amazed, but Jesus had already visited all the towns and places by Himself even before He would send His disciples there, though some people did not realize it. That truth is clearly told in St. Matthew’s Gospel:

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and all kinds of illnesses’. (Matthew 9:35)

The things are, however, what Jesus saw there when He visited them at the first time. St. Matthew continues to tell us:

‘When Jesus saw the crowds, He felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without shepherd’. (Matthew 9: 36)

That is the reason why the Lord Jesus would send His disciples to all the towns and places after He Himself had visited all of them.

‘Then’, St. Matthew tells, ‘The Lord Jesus said to His disciples’,

“Harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to His harvest’. (Matthew 9:37, cf. Luke10:2)

Later, when 72 disciples who had been sent by the Lord Jesus came back to Him and made a report of their mission rejoicing, saying, ‘even the devils submit to us when we use Your name’. In his response, however, the Lord Jesus said to them:

‘You do not rejoice that the sprits submit you; rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven”. (Luke 10:20)

His words amaze, even move us by saying, “Your names are written in heaven!” What have we done? We have only served Jesus following His words and His will, perhaps, even with the loads of shorts and lackings because of our human weaknesses and failures. Nevertheless, Jesus can still tell us, “Your names are written in heaven”!

That should be exactly the greatest honour and pleasure for all of us who serve the Lord Jesus in His mission. Then, we should know that it will be He Himself will surely visit all the people, after having sent us to them ahead of Jesus, to complete His saving work in all of them by Himself as it is clearly told in St Luke’s Gospel which I quote again.

‘The Lord Jesus appointed 72 other disciples and sent them out ahead of Him in pairs, to all the towns and places Jesus Himself would be visiting. (Luke 10:1)

St. Paul knew this truth and, thus, he could state;

“I am quite confident that the One who began a good work in you will go on completing it until the Day of Jesus Christ comes”. (Philippians 1:6)

We, Japanese and foreigners alike, are the same. What we can do for Jesus in His mission here in Japan might be quite limited, but we should not worry about ourselves and do our best for Jesus as He Himself will surely visit His people in Japan to complete His mission. We should not lose hope because our names are written in heaven as Jesus tells us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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