14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals….Do not move about from one house to another.”
Jesus required a radical commitment of his disciples. They were to rely only on the Lord. Even their physical needs were to be kept simple and they were not to engage in ministry for any profit of their own. Hence, they were not to move from house to house if they got a better offer from someone with more means.
In return, the disciples received a spiritual power over demons, but even that was not to be a brag, but the fact that their names were written in heaven. It is clear that what is most important for Jesus’ disciples is living in relationship. Relationship with God, through Christ, and with one another. Jesus sends thirty-six pairs of disciples to prepare the peoples for his visit.
A sign of an authentic Christian community is the sense of community among the believers of that community. A second, equally important sign, is the outreach of that community to become sacrament to the world. As a Church, I think we do well through Catholic Charities and our own outreach efforts here at the parish. We are not given credit for that and the great thing is that we are not looking for credit for all the good the Church accomplishes for the physical needs of people.
Where we might improve as a community is in our connection with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. We already share in Christ’s divinity, but making God the center of our lives to the point at which we might be willing to go out without a walking stick, is another challenge. I usually think of the Trappist's as those who are so faithful in poverty to the Spirit of Christ, but all of us are called to find that spiritual place of balance, where our true security comes of God and our sharing in God’s spirit.
I don’t know who this question would not be challenging for, but I think doing it in community, two by two, will make all the difference in the world.