Bible Corner

This weekend the Sunday Gospel has a shorter version and a longer version. Which one to be read at Mass will depend on the celebrant. For the moment, here in the Bible Corner, I am looking at the longer version — Jesus sends out seventy-two disciples in pairs ahead of him to visit the places he is going to visit. In the long version of the Gospel he describes two different scenarios that may come to pass. In the first one they go into a town and in the first house they enter they wish peace on the house and if a man of peace lives there the peace will rest — stay there and work from there and so on. The second scenario is ‘whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into the streets and say, ‘we wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you’, and there is a summary of the message given, ‘Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.’ No time is wasted and there is a definite statement to be shared as they leave. The critical point is the person being a ‘man of peace’ — we are all called to be men and women of peace. May we bring peace wherever we go and to whomever we meet.