ARE YOU READY FOR THE JOURNEY?
‘Jesus appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit.’ (Lk 10:12)
The paradox of strength through weakness is never more apparent in the gospels – as in life in general – than in today’s reading from St Luke’s gospel. The followers of Jesus were to be unencumbered and totally reliant on him and his grace as they set out on their journey. With the power of his word in them (‘the Lord having appointed them’) they were to manifest and make present the kingdom of God .
Paul had first-hand experience of this ‘strength through weakness’ which is why he wrote: ‘But Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.’ (2 Cor 12:9-10)
The Preface of Holy Martyrs says: ‘For the blood of your blessed Martyr(s) poured out like Christ’s to glorify your name, shows forth your marvellous works, by which in our weakness you perfect your power and on the feeble bestow strength to bear witness …’
And all this is beautifully captured in hymns such as ‘Guide me O thou great redeemer’ and ‘O strength and stay upholding all creation’ by W Williams and St Ambrose respectively.
Ask God to fill you with the strength of the Holy Spirit so that the power of Christ may work through you.
Fr Philip Sainter