July 15, 2012: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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. 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)
This gospel is very specific about how little Jesus expected his followers to have if they were to go out and preach the gospel to other people. Goodness, I am not sure any of us could have so little and still be happy! And I don’t think Jesus expected people in every age to listen to this instruction and follow it specifically. I think what he is telling us here is that we do not need many things to be a good person and to follow his invitation to be a Christian.
Why don’t you take some time during this week to look in your closet and see how much is in there. Then look in your desk and see how many things are in there. Then, stop for about five minutes. Think about how often you use each of those things, and whether you really need each of them. Maybe, if you don’t, someone else–who maybe could not afford one–might be happy to have yours. If you have things you do not need, perhaps you could ask your parents to help you take them to Goodwill–or wherever else they could be useful to someone else.