Having returned from their mission, the disciples rejoiced in the power Jesus had given them over the sick and the oppressed. And yet Our Lord quickly reminded them that they shouldn’t be so concerned with what they were doing; rather, they should rejoice in him.
Our Lord wanted these novice missionaries to appreciate the supreme value of being with him. They had the privilege of spending hours on end with Our Lord, listening to his teaching and learning about the things that were in his heart. They had the joy of knowing that he had opened the way to the Father to them; and that their names had been “written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: “My vocation is grounded in belonging to Jesus. It means loving him with undivided attention and faithfulness. The work we do is nothing more than a means of transforming our love for Christ into something concrete.”
Like the disciples, we can often have difficulties dealing with the tension between carrying out the duties that God gives us and developing our relationship with him. Often we experience the same tension in our relationships with other people, especially in the community. And yet growing in love and unity should always take priority over simply carrying out tasks and doing work. As we open our lives to Christ and allow his words to soak into our hearts and minds, we will find ourselves moved more deeply by his love and his wisdom and less by a sense of duty. We who are weak can become strong in him. We who are poor can become rich. We who are deaf can hear. And we who are blind can see.