of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from
our own comfort zone in order to reach all the
“peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel.
21. The Gospel joy which enlivens the com-
munity of disciples is a missionary joy. The sev-
enty-two disciples felt it as they returned from
their mission (cf.
10:17). Jesus felt it when he
rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and praised the Father
for revealing himself to the poor and the little
ones (cf.
10:21). It was felt by the first con-
verts who marvelled to hear the apostles preach-
ing “in the native language of each” (
2:6) on
the day of Pentecost. This joy is a sign that the
Gospel has been proclaimed and is bearing fruit.
Yet the drive to go forth and give, to go out from
ourselves, to keep pressing forward in our sow-
ing of the good seed, remains ever present. The
Lord says: “Let us go on to the next towns that
I may preach there also, for that is why I came
out” (
1:38). Once the seed has been sown
in one place, Jesus does not stay behind to ex-
plain things or to perform more signs; the Spirit
moves him to go forth to other towns.
22. God’s word is unpredictable in its power.
The Gospel speaks of a seed which, once sown,
grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps (
4:26-29). The Church has to accept this unruly
freedom of the word, which accomplishes what
it wills in ways that surpass our calculations and
ways of thinking.
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