Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples and said to them, “Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals” (Lk 10:3-4).
The opening of today’s Gospel continues the same theme of the past few days and that is the call of a radical dependence on God. Jesus sent his disciples out with no money, no credit cards, no sack, no luggage, no sandals, no Crocs. They were to rely solely on divine providence. They were taught by Jesus to believe and trust in the Father, and now they would put both to the test.
How well could we fare today? Do we even leave the house without our cell phones?
Jesus meets us and accepts as we are and where we are, but calls us to go deeper, to expand beyond our present understanding and practices. We may say to ourselves that we are not capable of being a great saint, but that would miss the point of who a saint is. A saint is not one who was great, but one who chose to release that which kept him or her from receiving more of God in their life.
There are so many distractions, diversions, demands, and many material enticements, that we are lured by. What all of us can do is assess how much of what we have, what we think, and how we spend our time, is getting in the way of our trusting in God more and allowing him to expand us so to receive more of him in our lives.
A periodic extended time of letting go is a wonderful practice. About two to three weeks before JoAnn died, we stopped watching TV because it was too uncomfortable for her. She needed quiet and stillness as much as possible and four weeks later, except for watching a few movies and a couple of shows with Jack and Christy, I have not watched any television and I have not missed it.
Since our return to California after JoAnn’s funeral, as we mourn, rest, heal and begin again, I have spent more time being quiet, praying, and meditating. Even though we live a half-mile from downtown LA, each day I hear bird song, I see trees and feel the sun on my face. I encourage you to carve out some time in your day to be still and to spend time in the wondrous, beauty of his creation. When we do so, we can hear God speak to us in the silence, we can experience him who we depend on for everything and allow him to become more present in our daily lives.
Photo: JoAnn and I spending some time together in the open air of the NW corner of CT before our move to Florida in the summer of 1997.