When we read all of Luke 10 to learn more about “the seventy others,” we find that Jesus sent them (not the disciples!) ahead of him to every town he planned to visit, to cure the sick and announce that “the Kingdom of God has come near you.” If they were unwelcome, they were to leave, warning of the coming of the Kingdom.
The seventy “returned with joy,” saying that even the demons had submitted to them. Jesus tells them to rejoice, not because the demons submitted, but because the seventy’s names are “written in heaven,” and He thanked God for hiding these things from the wise and revealing them to “infants”.
The seventy probably set out with mixed feelings: excitement at Jesus’ trust in them, and anxiety when he said he was sending them out “like lambs into the midst of wolves!” But they accomplished their task beyond their wildest dreams because they trusted Jesus.
We may hesitate when we are asked to help in our parishes or the wider community. We are too busy, too inexperienced… but the need is there, and we could serve, even as “infants.” Our positive response requires humility, occasional advice, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, but it is worth trying, and it may fill our hearts with joy.
As we journey through Advent 2020 in the uncertainty of “the new normal,” let us put our trust in Jesus Christ, who loves and leads us (if we let Him) through frightening and “unprecedented” times to the peace which passes all understanding.