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July 13, 2017 - Prepare for the Journey

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings

If you have ever packed yourself or your family for an extended trip you know that there are many things to pack that feel like necessities - those things you just can't imagine leaving home without. But in today's Gospel we are told the opposite. While this feels true for vacation or a business trip, do we approach life this same way? Are there the things we do not leave home without? 

Christ speaks to this exact question in today's gospel. He tells his disciples (are we not all his modern-day disciples?) not to pack or to bring money or even a second tunic. He tells them to go out and change the world, trusting not in the material things they can pack but in the word of God. I think that Christ is telling us of the importance of faith. When we interact with the world and we work to bring Christ to the world, it is not the "stuff" we have that will make a difference, but rather our belief in Christ and his unconditional love. It is our intense desire to show the world this unconditional love that we must bring with us as we journey into the world. 

But that is not going to be comfortable. It is not going to be easy. And for a planner like me, it is not always going to go the way you plan. I often feel in our world today we put our desire to be comfortable - physically, emotionally, socially - over our desire to bring Christ to the world. I am guilty of it myself.  But we are not called to be comfortable - we are called to be disciples. 

How vulnerable and uncomfortable Joseph must have felt when he was face to face with his brothers, who sold him into slavery. Today's secular values would have said that Joseph, out of vengeance and fairness, should have sent his brothers away to starve. But Joseph, a man of prayer, closely connected to God, offers forgiveness and welcomes them. He does not practice vengeance but love. And we are too are called to practice love. 

Clothed in the love of Christ may we live our lives today, knowing we are prepared for whatever may come, not because of what we have packed for the journey and the things we have with us, but because of the love of Christ.  Even when it may make us uncomfortable and it may seem hard, may we follow Jesus.  Amen.  

 -AJ Grimm