After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where he himself was to go. The Lord’s appointing of the seventy-two may appear as a kind of selection, which it is to a certain extent. He chose those whom he felt were ready. The harvest is abundant but the labourers are few (v. 2). This verse is often quoted to stress the need for vocations to the priesthood or to religious life but it holds meaning for all of us. Proclamation of the Kingdom of God is not the prerogative of the priests, brothers or sisters. It is part and parcel of our Christian identity. By virtue of our baptism, we are called to proclaim the Kingdom of God. So the call is universal but the manner and capacity in which we carry it out differs. Some carry it out as priests, others as consecrated brothers or sisters, others as members of families and still others as single men or women. St. Paul writes to the Ephesians about the diversity of callings within the Christian vocation: As for his gifts, to some he gave to be apostles, to others prophets, or even evangelists, or pastors and teachers. So he prepared those who belong to him for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ (4: 11-12).
Cl Ian Pinto sdb