Saints Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell us how Jesus sent the Twelve Apostles out to preach but it is only St Luke who tells us of these 72 disciples. This number is symbolic; in Genesis chapter 10 there appears a list of Noah’s descendants – some 72 names – from whom all the tribes of the earth are descended.  St Luke is using this 72 to indicate that every single person has the responsibility to be a disciple. He tells us Jesus gave the 72 some specific instructions: Do not to be distracted or take material possessions with them, depend on those to whom they were sent for their living. Their mission was to bring peace, healing and encouragement to those to whom they were sent.  Jesus warns them not to let their heads be turned by their achievements but rather to take joy in the fact that their names are written in heaven. St Luke reminds us that we have the same mission and this mission is not a matter of choice but is essential to the Christian life. So let us take up our task, seeing ourselves as those 72 disciples and rejoice that, as with them, devils submit and we too bring peace, healing and encouragement to those we encounter.

…We are!