A Disciple’s Love
As Jesus gathered the Apostles together and sent them out to preach and heal, they must have been filled with both excitement and fear. To preach repentance, to heal, to have authority over unclean spirits…with your only resources being your faith in Jesus, the clothes on your back, sandals and a walking stick…Wow! And – it worked! They drove out many demons, anointed the sick and shared God’s healing love. To be able to come back to Jesus and report what happened…priceless!
In our own way, we share that same call as 21st century disciples: to bring the Good News of Jesus to our needy world and its people. No small task in our large and complex world which is beset with all-too-many suffering and human tragedies!
Jesus missioned those early Apostles in a spirit of simplicity and sharp focus. Today’s call to Jesus’ mission comes to many of us in the midst of personal lives that are complex, cluttered, and most likely all-too-busy. Our desktops, smartphones and calendars are filled with all sorts of opportunities, commitments and challenges. As we are sent out, our tendency is to carry along all our “baggage” (witness recent holiday travel on airlines!).
Just perhaps today’s Scripture is meant to encourage us in simplifying and refocusing our lives — just as David did with his son Solomon as death drew near. Jesus’ Message is clear today as it was centuries ago: believe in Him and follow his example of all-inclusive, selfless, sacrificial love; live as if today were the ultimate day of life on earth and the gateway to the fulfillment of Life which is Heaven. Food for thought: What needs to be set aside? Jesus encourages only a simple tunic, a walking stick and a pair of sandals…
With Lent on the immediate horizon, I can hear Jesus speak to us: “disciples: simplify, and take time for yourselves: some peace & quiet in prayer, time for a personal retreat, the opportunity to see the sun rise or set in these frosty winter days, time to get back in touch with family and friends, time to experience the mercy of God in this special Jubilee Year.” Let’s preach the Good News of Jesus — mercy, repentance, healing, love — by our lives, using words if necessary!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of the Passionist community in Chicago, Illinois.