And He sent them out in pairs telling them to take nothing with them – no money, no extra cloak, even their walking sticks were to be left behind.
Lord, I can imagine the fear of those apostles walking through deserts without protection from thieves and wild animals. Then going into towns to try to seek an audience open to their message, avoiding the sneering crowds who would stomp their testimonies into the ground like pigs would do pearls because they cannot grasp the value of what is being given to them. Before arriving in any town, there were enemies already waiting for them: the Sadducees and Pharisees watching for the chance to trip them up and devour them like mad dogs. Sounds like the worst cold calling assignment I ever heard of. Lord, grant me faith to look to You for my protection.
The words of today’s Gospel ring as true today as they did two thousand years ago: Beware of false prophets in sheep’s clothing with ravenous wolves hiding below. Everyone must judge for themselves true from false. The only guidance given us is that “By their fruits you shall know them.” Also, we are given the warning: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire”.
Our Church is besieged, Lord, and signs of the evil one are everywhere. Send St. Michael and his armies to thrust the evil one back into Hell so Your Church can flourish once more. We can’t do it without Your help, Jesus. For me it’s like one of my heroes once wrote:
“Oh God, the sea is so great and my boat is so small” -John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage.
Ray Alonzo is the father of three children, grandfather of two, and husband to Jan for 45 years. He is a USN Vietnam Veteran, and a 1969 graduate of Mother of Good Counsel Passionist Prep Seminary. Ray currently serves on the Passionist Alumni Council.