Take nothing for the journey

Today I travelled thirty minutes by car to the mountain village of Delicias Concepción to lead a Celebration of the Word with Communion.

As I prepared for my reflection on the texts I felt rather uncomfortable. In today’s Gospel (Mark 6: 7-13), Jesus tells the twelve to “take nothing for the journey” – no food, no sack, no money.

I began my reflection sharing my discomfort with the more than sixty people in the small church. I recalled how I took two bags as well as money and some snack food to a recent seminar I attended in Comayagua.

But as I continued reflecting this morning,  I realize that Jesus is calling us to bring the message, as Gustavo Gutiérrez puts it in Compartir la Palabra, “with simplicity and poverty,” putting nothing in the way of the proclamation of the Reign of God. For “the Reign cannot be presented from the standpoint of power and the security which money or social position provide.”

But, as I shared in the celebration, Jesus is calling us to place our trust in God and in the people we serve. Not in just God, but also in the people. “Wherever you enter, stay there…”

I shared with the people how I have experienced this so many times. When my car has broken down, I have almost always had people who came and helped, refusing my offer of compensation.

This is not easy for us from the United States – to receive help with paying someone. But it happens often here in the countryside.

This has been a great lesson I’ve learned here – not just trusting God, but trusting the people.

And so I can say, with confidence, to those who ask me about security concerns: My security is from God, but also from the people.

I may take many things for the journey, but they are never enough. What I receive in the journey is what makes my mission and ministry possible – the support of God and the people.

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