Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mark 6:7-13)
Jesus called the Twelve Apostles to detach from the earthly things they would need on their mission trip in order to bless them with God’s divine, abundant providence.
Of course, he knew that they would need food, clothing, and money on their journey, but the Apostles would have to depend on the charity of those they were serving. This kind of detachment is only possible when one is truly attached to Christ. When we trust in Christ, we are open to leaving behind the things we want and instead to receiving the good things with which God wants to bless us.
He knew they needed to preach the Gospel not principally by their words but by their witness, by who they were. If they were going to be preaching that God cares for us more than he cares for the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, then they needed to manifest that trust in his divine Providence.
He knew that if they were going to be indicating to others the path to happiness, they needed to be living the first beatitude, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” They needed to be poor in material things and rich in what matters to God if their teaching would be at all credible.
This made me think of the fact that there is something in travelling light. God wants us to walk and illume his light. To do that, we need to be free of anything that could weigh us down, whether it be things of this world or mental clutter that we are carrying.
Mental clutter comes in as variety of forms. It can be hurt from others, or fear or even dreams that never came about.
None of us can move through life without being hurt in one way or another. Someone treats us with disrespect, dishonesty or even violence. A person we trust betrays us. Someone we love walks away. Even after we remove ourselves from the circumstances in which the hurt occurs, the scars from that hurt can still follow us. Such baggage says to us, “You are broken. You are worthless. You are damaged goods.”
Jesus asks us to leave behind the baggage of our hurts.
Fear is not a bad thing. Fear serves a positive purpose of identifying and preparing us for danger. But, once we have done all that we can have to prepare, fear loses its value. Then, holding on to fear can turn into a continual worry that undermines us and paralyzes us. It is like carrying a bag of heavy stones with us wherever we go. Fear says, “The worst is going to happen. It is not going to work out. Things will certainly fall apart.” Such fear allows us to do very little.
Jesus asks us to leave the bag of our fears behind.
Usually, we think of dreams in a positive sense. They can be so when they motivate us and inspire us. But there are some dreams that are really impossible, and these dreams hurt us. They are dreams we want but have very little chance of achieving. Some goals are illusionary. Some people will not change. Some circumstances will not improve. When we insist on holding on to such false dreams, they become like a heavy cargo trunk that weighs us down. It robs us of our rest. It robs us of our joy, because we are always chiding ourselves for doing what cannot be done.
Jesus asks us to leave the trunk of false dreams behind.
What kind of useless burdens do you insist on bringing with you? What kind of heavy luggage are you determined to check for your flight? Jesus reminds us that such luggage is unnecessary. He asks us to leave the bags of our hurts, our fears, and our false dreams at home and fly free.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, make me a channel of your healing power and merciful love that others may find abundant life and freedom in you. Free me from all other attachments that I may joyfully pursue the treasure of your heavenly kingdom. May I witness the joy of the Gospel both in word and deed.”
As Christians, we also have a share in Christ’s mission. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit who is always with us in our tasks. Are we willing to discard those things that keep us from sharing in his mission for us? Do we trust in his power to work through us to bring God’s will to fruition here and now?