Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reflection: Luke 9:1-6

25th Week in Ordinary Time — Luke 9:1-6

Today Jesus gives the disciples a wonderful gift: he gives them power and authority over all demons as well as the ability to cure diseases. He then sends them forth “to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” If we have chosen to follow Jesus, then we also are disciples of Jesus. Today he is sending us forth to heal and to proclaim the Kingdom of God to every individual we encounter.

Jesus instructs the disciples to travel lightly. He tells them to take nothing for the journey, not money, not a walking stick, not a suitcase , not even food. They are to depend on the kindness and generosity of the people they serve. (Many of us likely would find this a challenge.) Jesus also warned them that their message would not be welcomed by every person they encountered. If this was the case, they should simply move on and “shake off the dust from their feet in testimony against them.”

I wonder how the disciples reacted to Jesus’ instruction? Were they tempted to take some of their necessities with them? Or did they trust Jesus’ word that the people would feed and shelter them?

The disciples then set off, traveling from one village to another, proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

If we are Jesus’ disciples, today he also is giving us the same instruction he gave to his disciples. I invite you to put yourself into the disciples’ shoes. Imagine yourself setting out on a journey with only the clothes on your back, no toiletries, no clean clothes, no food, no money, or any of the other items we might consider essential. Today some of us tend to over-pack rather than minimally pack.

If we truly desire to journey with Jesus, we also have to travel lightly. Today’s Gospel may prompt us to ask ourselves: What do I not need any of? What is it that I truly do need? What can I let go of? This inventory can include our physical belongings as well as our emotional baggage. What is Jesus asking us to release or to leave behind? What do we no longer need? What no longer serves us well?

Today I invite you to take time and ask yourself: What do I choose to let go of today? What do I not really need? It may be small or it might be significant. If we are ready to let go of a physical and tangible item, this may encourage us to free ourselves of one piece of our emotional baggage. Today, ask Jesus to give you the wisdom to choose what to let go of. It may be difficult, but in the end you will feel freer and lighter. Traveling lightly has many advantages! Try it! You may realize that you like not having to lug around so much baggage!

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