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Sending Out the Seventy (or Seventy Two) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 09 July 2007 06:27
The gospel for yesterday was the famous passage from Luke 10. Fr. Mike is back in Colorado Springs and preached a really good sermon in which he acknowledged publicly for the first time that he is J.K. Rowling's long-lost twin brother and that she has entrusted him with the answer to the burning question: "What happened to Harry Potter in book 7?" - under the seal of the confessional.

Ok, maybe not . . . (dodging brickbats) but his homily was very good and the passage brought back vivid memories of my pre-Catholic life.

As a young evangelical preparing for a missionary career, I attended the "cross-culture" part of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.

I vividly remember the beginning of one class in which the instructor rolled in . . .in a wheelchair. He was a quadrapalegic former missionary and instructor in an innovative course: Language Learning in Community. It seemed like another ordinary graduate course - with a huge syllabus, lists of books, exams, papers, etc.

Except for one thing: When the instructor rolled in, I had a sudden, intense sense of the presence of God in, over, and around him. I blinked and kept staring at him, looking for some obvious, visible sign that he was different from the other professors, all of whom were devout Christians and experienced missionaries. Nothing. So I thought, I'll just wait and see.

Several weeks into the course, the instructor started to speak about the same passage: Luke 10 and the sending out of the disciples two by two. As he spoke, something happened. We were no longer in a classroom - we were in worship and I can't tell you how or why it happened. But I thought "Now I am seeing manifested what I somehow recognized on that first day when he rolled in"

After class, I went to him, knelt by his wheelchair, and told him what I had sensed on that first day - and he began to cry. I think it was a confirmation to him that God had granted the desire of his heart - to be so embued with the spirit of Christ that even total strangers could sense it.

Some time later, I heard that he had died, struck down by one of the chronic ailments that affect quadrapolegics. I hadn't thought of him in years until the gospel was read yesterday but it all came flooding back.

May that be the desire of our hearts as well - and may God grant it.

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