Recently, Sister Jacinta and I watched The Wizard of Oz with the group of Vietnamese sisters who live with us while they attend Brescia University. For most of the sisters, it was their first time to see the movie. It is one that I can watch over and over again. I’m sure some of it was a challenge for them because they had to listen to me blurt out lines or break into song simultaneously with the cast. In spite of that, we had many experiences of joy as we watched Dorothy begin her journey down the yellow brick road, make friends along the way, and contend with the Wicked Witch of the West.
At mass today, we hear in the Gospel of Luke 10:1 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.” I couldn’t help but think of the comparison of our earthly journey to heaven, this scripture passage, and Dorothy’s expedition. Dorothy didn’t travel alone (there are four of them heading to see the wizard, two pairs to be exact) neither did the disciples or us today. In religious life we live in community, work to spread the gospel message, and pray that God give us hearts of mercy and conversion. Like Dorothy, we too have to fight the forces of evil and pray for the courage to resist the temptations that the devil puts before us daily.
In Luke 10:2 we read, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” We pray that more people respond to God’s call to a vocation to religious life and help others on their journey to their heavenly home. Because, as we know, “there’s no place like home.”