Pity me, pity me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has struck me!
Why do you hound me as though you were divine,
and insatiably prey upon me?
Oh, would that my words were written down!
Would that they were inscribed in a record:
That with an iron chisel and with lead
they were cut in the rock forever!
But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives,
and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust;
Whom I myself shall see:
my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him,
And from my flesh I shall see God;
my inmost being is consumed with longing.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day
than for that town.”
WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER
The Lord’s invitation is surprising: He calls to follow Him people who are lowly and burdened by a difficult life; He calls to follow Him people who have many needs, and He promises them that in Him they will find rest and relief. Among those who are weary of life, the Gospel also often includes the poor (cf. Mt 11:5) and the little ones (cf. Mt 18:6). This means those who cannot rely on their own means, nor on important friendships. They can only trust in God. Jesus proposes to his disciples a journey of knowledge and of imitation. Jesus is not a severe master who imposes upon others burdens which He does not bear. In order to save humanity Jesus did not undertake an easy path; on the contrary, his journey was painful and difficult. Dear brothers and sisters, for us too there are moments of weariness and disillusion. Then let us remember these words of the Lord, which give us so much consolation and allow us to understand whether we are placing our energy at the service of the good. The Lord teaches us not to be afraid to follow Him, because the hope that we place in Him will never disappoint. (General Audience, 14 Sept 2016)