In the first reading today, we see more of Job’s great faith. While he was a miserable soul (and rightly so), he always knew that there was a purpose to his suffering, and that it would not end in vain. “I know that my Vindicator lives…Whom I myself shall see…And from my flesh I shall see God.” Even in the worst of circumstances, he knew that, in the end, everything would work out for him.
In the Gospel reading today from Luke 10, Jesus sends out seventy-two disciples to go ahead of Him to every town and village that He would be visiting. He gives them pretty much the same orders that He gave to the Twelve. At the end, He says, “Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ ” This “shaking the dust” was a symbolic gesture that Jews did when leaving Gentile territory and reentering the Holy Land. For the seventy-two, this signified judgement on those who reject the Gospel.
Many today reject the Gospel. The spirit of the age is so pervasive, and has caused so many to turn their backs on the “antiquated ways” of Jesus. I’m sure there have been times when you have had to “shake the dust” regarding someone. You try and you try, but you just can’t seem to break through. This can be one of life’s toughest decisions. But sometimes you just gotta move on. We must always remember…even when we have to “shake the dust,” we must never stop praying for those people who reject the truth. Perhaps God will send someone else that can break through.
Father, keep us fervent and help us to persevere in preaching the Gospel. Send someone to those from whom we have had to shake the dust from our feet, that they might hear and believe. Amen.