Commentary on the Gospel of
Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
From David to his Son, Solomon; from Jesus to his disciples; there is a continuation of the act of missioning. It is now our turn. We are all being missioned into the world, and we are asked to take nothing with us except our faith and trust in God – this will be our walking stick – and courage – our sandals. We are to journey as we are and not cloaked with a second tunic of self-doubt and fear. We are to travel light as we go forward in service.
Quite often when we are about to travel for any reason, we usually have a mental checklist of things we need to remember to do, or things we need to remember to take along; the right clothes, the documents, money, and so on. In a way, even when we pack the bare minimum, and decide on only the essentials, we are still weighed down with the baggage of worry, fears, and our need to control every moment. We still take too much upon ourselves and lose sight of the graces we receive along the way, the opportunities to experience God’s love, and the opportunities to experience fully all the gifts God has bestowed on us. Yes, we are each a child of God, and when we walk into a room, our grace can bring a smile to the face of a hurting soul. Our goodness can bring peace to a home filled with negativity. Our light can drive out the darkness. These are not just gifts for the twelve disciples; this is our gift as well; we are being missioned out into the world to do good work – to serve for the greater glory of God – and we will not be alone. Just as the disciples where sent out two by two, we are sent to serve together. Being successful in ministry is kind of a team effort. We now live in a world that glorifies the idea of working on our own, or doing things our own way, or being independent. These are not bad ideas in and of themselves, but we are somewhat created to work together, not alone. We are members of the body of Christ, we function splendidly together. When you feel disconnected, remember, you are not traveling through this life alone. Yes, travel light, but let’s travel together.
What are those things that weigh us down as we journey through life? What are those things that get in our way of doing God’s work? Do we have the courage to go where we are sent, to move on when it is time, to take rejection, to lead and to serve when it is difficult and inconvenient, to do work for the greater glory of God? Dear friends, do we have the courage? I am still afraid to answer these questions for myself, but one thing I do know is that it seems our options open up when we travel light through life; leaving our baggage – physical or emotional – behind as we respond to the missioning into the world. Yes, brothers and sisters, let’s pick up our walking sticks, put on our sandals, and do ministry together.