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Luke 9:1-6

The Word of God

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, 'Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money - not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.' They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

Luke 9:1-6
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • “These Christians, see how they love one another”. What prompted this exclamation, according to Tertullian, was that the Christians nursed their sick poor. Up to that time only the rich received medical attention. Curing diseases was an integral part of the mission given to the twelve. No wonder Pope Francis thinks of the Church as a field hospital.
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    • Luke here brings the 12 into the forefront of the narrative; they are presented as sharing in the Mission of Christ; they are no longer merely disciples but are given the task of doing what Jesus does; to exercise authority over unclean spirits, curing diseases and proclaiming the kingdom of God.
    • We see the distinction being drawn between a follower of Christ and being another Christ. Followers by following the teaching of Christ and by living according to His values proclaim the kingdom of God but they do not necessarily commit themselves to dedicate their lives to the proclamation of the Gospel. To what extent does your life lean towards being a follower and being another Christ?
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    • Proclaiming the kingdom of God and healing are the core mission. Over-packing and over-preparing will shift the focus to what I might need, to what gives me comfort. As I speak to God about what concerns me, I pray that I may remain single-minded and free.
    • What is the dust I need to shake off? What is it that tarnishes me and dulls my shine? I pray that I may keep my focus on the good news and not allow myself to be slowed down by attention to other messages, no matter how compelling.
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    • This is a very frightening text if taken literally. It seems to mean that people who offer themselves fully to the Lord will be provided for by God through the kindness of others. Saint Francis of Assisi gave up his inheritance through his wonderful relationship with the Lord. Many good people who set out to do things for God frequently have to resort to the prayer – if God wants it He will provide.
    • If we can live in the spirit of realising that God does provide everything that we have, then we learn that there is nothing that we have not received, and the prayer of thanksgiving takes on a deeper meaning.
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    • I notice how Jesus sends the twelve to do the same things he is doing: to expel demons, to heal, and to proclaim the Kingdom of God. After his resurrection, he told the apostles, 'As the Father sent me, I also send you'. I dwell in wonder in the trust Jesus places in us, by sharing his own mission and his own powers with us in all our frailty.
    • Even in our super-rational world that seeks efficiency above all else, the option of preaching in poverty is still very effective and always touches people's hearts very powerfully. We can recall the example of Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, Taize. I pray for today's Church as she strives to be faithful to her calling by Jesus.
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    • ‘Take nothing for your journey!’ Pope Francis dreams of a poor Church for the poor. Like the disciples in the Gospel scene, the Church today must depend on God, not on property, power or prestige. The only riches that matter are the riches of the Good News. Today’s disciples need to be focussed solely on God; only thus will the power of God’s grace be free to work through them unrestrictedly. In this way they will ‘bring good news’ to a world which has lost its way, and they will ‘cure its diseases everywhere’.
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    • Your baggage allowance is zero. What slows you down? What complicates your life? Can you lay it at the feet of Jesus and walk away? Jesus suggests that we should live in a simple way and not be encumbered by niggling concerns. It will be difficult for us to bring good news if we are concerned with our own details. We will be able to travel more lightly if we can make what matters to Jesus matter to us.
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    • Jesus weds power and authority with compassionate love and humble service. I pray for the Church that its ministers may do likewise.
    • His promise is that he will be always with us if we allow him to use us in our weakness. He entrusts us with his gifts and healing power. The final word ‘everywhere’ suggests that the grace we carry extends beyond all human boundaries. ‘Every act of love, every mute uplifting of the heart, draws the whole world nearer to God.’
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    • Jesus gives the twelve some road tips for the journey. He asks them to travel lightly, unencumbered with the baggage of material things. They are to walk the path of simplicity, openness and trust. They are to be flexible and available.
    • Lord, today our world is blessed with technologies of which you knew nothing. May the medium of Sacred Space help me to rediscover the heart of discipleship - an absolute reliance on your providence and the freedom that follows from trusting in you.
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    • God is not to be forced on people. God's love and care are an invitation to each of us to allow God to be part of our lives. The disciples of Jesus are to move on if they are not welcomed. Hostility can cling like dust to the feet, and hinder further growth. It is the same with our personal life. Prayer invites us to let go of hostility, antipathy and hurt, both from us to another, and from another to ourselves. There is always a future of hope and freedom when we pray.
    • Most of us would like to bring good news wherever we go. We know people whose lives light up the lives of others. We know the opposite too! Daily prayer calms the soul, gives joy and peace; it gives a new perspective on worries and anxieties. It is our time of relaxing into the mystery of being loved by God.