Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF

            When the seventy-two disciples returned from their mission journey and reported to him of their success over the powers of darkness, Jesus could not contain his joy. He was filled with the joy in the Holy Spirit.

            Someone else in the place of Jesus could have been envious of the success of the disciples!  These seventy-two ordinary men becoming famous at his cost! They were able to cast out demons, heal the sick! They probably became heroes in all the villages they went to—the name and the fame that would have naturally come to Jesus have gone to those little ones! Jesus could have avoided this possibility by not sending them to the villages but by going to the villages all by himself and cornering all glory to himself…

            Don’t we find examples among many spiritual leaders for such potential and actual jealousies? I know of a religious who founded an institute and refused to move out of its directorship because he thought he alone was able to run it successfully, and finally, the Province had to elect him provincial to get him removed from the institute. I know of a famous educational institute of a religious congregation refusing to share their strategic plan and ideas of development with another budding educational institute of another congregation who requested for it, because the former feared that the latter would imitate them and become potential competitors in the “ministry” of education. I know of provinces of religious orders fighting for ownership of ministries each of them thought rightfully “belonged” to them. All in the name of Jesus…!

            Unless we have a childlike heart that Jesus had, it is hard to delight in the success of others—even in ministries at the service of God.

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF -


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