Thursday, 26th Week in Ordinary Time          

            “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals…”

            Even without taking the instructions of Jesus in today’s gospel literally, the message remains the same: BE SIMPLE! One gospel commentary has this reflection: “Our present generation, very much immersed in the culture of multimedia communication, certainly runs head-on against this exhortation (or teaching) on simplicity.” “With almost everything and anything available at an instant, thanks to the internet, people, especially the young ones, find it difficult, if not downright absurd, to simplify.”

            “Just do it!” “Express yourself!” “Indulge!” “Satisfy yourself!” These are some of the media enticements to people to accumulate, with little concern to moral implications and consequences of people’s actions. By living simply, the disciples of Jesus will draw attention not to themselves but to the “King of kings” himself who provides, protects, and sustains his people.

            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. Indeed, the Lord wants us to be free from too much preoccupation with material things – too much worrying about money matters.

            If we are to fulfill our calling as God’s missionaries of love, if we are to be authentic messengers of the Good News, and if we are to respond to the call to live a simple life, we must trust God – we must trust in his providential care. We must trust that he will always provide what we really need. We must hold on to this truth: The Lord who has called and sent us will surely provide for our needs. Take note: He will provide what we need for the mission and not what we want for our convenience and pleasure.

            Since God promises to provide for our needs – material, physical, financial, emotional, spiritual needs – we can tell him in our prayer: “Lord, I’m your child, and you gave me a great promise in your Word. I’m trusting you to provide for me, and I thank you in advance.” “Now, Lord, here is a great opportunity for you to show me how strong you are!” Then, after saying that, after praying like that, RELAX!   

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