In the first reading the Jews of the Diaspora express their great longing for their homeland. For these people in exile, their temple destroyed meant that God had abandoned them due to their unfaithfulness. However the reading ends with a hope that God will in His mercy, bring His children back and with the rebuilding of the temple, God will be again in their midst, finally restoring Jerusalem to her former glory. In our gospel, we see the disciples returning full of joy but also with much awe and wonder at their power when ministering in Jesus’ name.
Can we still recall our amazement when fully aware of our inadequate abilities, we finally accomplished the work entrusted to us? These are the moments of grace for us to see the presence of God and His power working in our lives. It is precisely this ability of the little ones to see things with wonder and awe because of their limited capabilities that prompted our Lord to praise and thank his Father. This childlike attitude of humility opens us to the action of the Holy Spirit who enables us to praise and thank God constantly. Can we see God’s presence and His power working in our lives, to see what kings and prophets longed to see but did not see? Finally, in everything we do, are we aware that “unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain?”