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A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[Luke 10:1–24. Compare Mat. 10:1–42]

ON His journey from Galilee to Judæa, Jesus selected from among His followers seventy-two, whom He called disciples, that they might assist the twelve apostles in the work of the ministry. He sent them forth two by two, saying: “He that heareth you, heareth Me, and He that despiseth you, despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me.”

A short time after, the seventy-two returned to Him, rejoicing, and saying that even the demons were subject to them. Jesus, fearing that they might become vain of the power that was given them, said: “I saw Satan, as lightning, falling from heaven. Rejoice not because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice in this, that your names are written in the Book of Life.”

Then, rejoicing with them, He prayed: “I give thanks to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones!”

The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. From this chapter we see how our Lord gradually traced the outlines of the Hierarchy of the Church, i. e. of the higher and lower orders of sacred ministers. There we have Peter, the Apostles, the disciples and the faithful; here we have the Pope, the Bishops, the Priests [with Deacons, Subdeacons and four minor orders] and the faithful.

Prayer to God to send more labourers into His vineyard. Jesus, the Lord of the harvest, desires us to pray to Him to send more labourers, i. e. more bishops and priests, and this not only for our own sakes, but for the multitude of our fellow-men, who are still unbelievers. He alone, by His grace, can raise up true apostolic labourers for His vineyard. This prayer is very necessary. Even many Catholic countries are in sad want of priests; but, setting aside this want, the majority of men in this world are either heathens (of whom there are about 700,000,000) or Mahometans (of whom there are about 150,000,000). Only 250,000,000 belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; for out of those who claim to be Christians, 80,000,000 belong to the Greek schismatical Church, and about 90,000,000 to the various Protestant sects. The harvest is indeed still great, and the number of Catholic priests and missionaries small in proportion.

Our Lord sent out His disciples two and two 1. so that they could bear witness to the miracles wrought. “In the law it is written that the testimony of two men is true” (John 8:17), and therefore men would more readily believe the word of two together than of one alone. 2. That they might practise mutual love and unity of spirit, and be thus better able to preach the Gospel of love and peace.

APPLICATION. You ought to pray to God, especially at the four Ember seasons when the ordinations take place, to send forth labourers into His harvest.

Support all Catholic missions according to your means.








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