Wednesday, 25th Week in Ordinary Time
“Take nothing for the journey…”
Jesus, in today’s gospel reading, is teaching the Twelve to trust in the divine providence. Because they work for God, the Twelve must not be preoccupied with material things. Since it was God’s business they were about, God would surely provide for their material needs. God would surely give them what they need for the mission.
The lesson is also for us: Trust in the divine providence. If we are to fulfill our calling as God’s missionaries of love, if we are to fulfill our calling to be messengers of the Good News, we must trust God – we must trust in his providential care. We must trust that he will always provide what we really need. Take note: He will provide what we need for the mission, and not what we want for our convenience and comfort.
The Lord Jesus is reminding us that we are to be free from non-essentials and get down to the business of building the kingdom of God – and not of building our own empire of wealth, power and prestige. We must live unencumbered lives, not caught up with worldly things – money, possessions, privileges, luxuries, pleasures. We must not have a lifestyle that is contrary to the gospel values. Like those sent by the Lord, we are to wear the sandals of simplicity, and take along the walking stick of trust and confidence to support us on the way.
We have to periodically examine our hearts and our possessions to see what excess baggage we have accumulated or stockpiled, and to find out whether our hearts are still unencumbered and free. May we not be so absorbed with our personal ambition, so much so that we lose focus on our noble mission. May we not be so preoccupied with material things, so much so that we set aside the more important things in life. May we not be so greedy trying to get talent fee for ourselves, so much so that we fail to use our God-given talents in generously and sacrificially serving our community. May we not be so consumed with worldly comforts and rewards, so much so that we compromise our love of neighbor and our sacrifice for the common good. May we not get so fixated on earning and saving money, so much so that we lose what Christ has already earned or won for us: redemption, salvation.
If we are to be effective apostles of the Kingdom, we have to learn to let go. We have to put our trust in a provident God and not in things.