February 7, 2019
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's University Relations
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 326

Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24
Psalms 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 9, 10-11
Mark 6:7-13

Praying Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives the 12 disciples some rather stern marching orders: They are sent out, two by two, to drive out demons and preach repentance, but they are not allowed to take anything for the journey but a walking stick–no food, no sack, no money in their belts. At least Jesus let them wear sandals, but only the tunic on their backs. A second one was not allowed.

Today, very early in their training, the young novices in the Jesuit Order receive similar instructions. The Constitution St. Ignatius drafted provided that the novices were to embark on a month-long pilgrimage “without money … begging from door to door … to grow accustomed to discomfort in food and lodging.”

In visiting with veteran Creighton University Jesuits about their pilgrimages, many share stories of how they were sent to some distant city to serve the poor or counsel prisoners with only $30 in their pocket and a backpack. All told me of the wonderful people they met on the road, often hitchhiking, as was the way back in the 70s and 80s, spending nights in homes of people they just met and asking for money to help pay for a meal or buy a bus ticket.
One would have expected that fear and despair would have been a common element to their stories, but the recurring theme was that their pilgrimage made them learn two key things: First, while on their journey, their vulnerability forced them to communicate with others so that their needs were known; and secondly, they had to trust in the goodness of others to help them. Out of this open communication and newfound trust grew bonds with people they had never met before, almost akin to a longtime friendship, and maybe more importantly, a deeper trust in God.

Sadly, in today’s world, it seems the two things headed for extinction are communicating with strangers and trusting in their innate goodness. Our culture is becoming polarized and all too often focused on talking only to people with whom we share a small view of the world and distrusting everyone else’s view or comment. Maybe if we were willing to embark on a pilgrimage such as the 12 did and the novices still do, without out all the “baggage” we carry with us of preconceived notions, we might be able to communicate more openly with others and realize that we need their trust and understanding as much as they need ours.

During our daily Examen of Consciousness, we need to remember that we have a unique spiritual identity and that God is calling us to develop that identity. Is the real “us” one who is closed to new ideas and ways of looking at problems in our world? We must listen to the Holy Spirit calling in our hearts and learn to let go of our baggage and experience the type of empowering vulnerability experienced by the 12 Disciples and Jesuits, so that we, too, can learn to communicate more freely, trust more deeply and love with our whole hearts.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook