Going Forth Into the World.

Good morning brothers and sisters.

This mornings Gospel reading is from Mark Chapter 6 ( Mk 6:7-13)

In this reading Jesus begins to send out the disciples to preach the good news.    He sends them with his authority to cast out evil spirits and to preach.   He sends them out two by two, and with specific instructions on how to go about their journey.     Did you ever wonder why he gave those instructions  ?  Why two by two ?  Why no money, no food, not second set of clothes ?  Why did he care so much about where they stayed or what they did besides preach ?

Although not stated, I believe these were tools to teach the apostles.  They were to be poor, poor in spirit, poor in truth.  Going two by two.. ” Where ever two or more of you are gathered in my name I am there with you”.. The physical trappings of their journey were probably not only to keep them humble, but also to ensure that they reached out to brothers and sisters on the way, made real connections and depended on the kindness of  “strangers”.  Not taking money or food required them to beg, and to ask for the things they needed.  Jesus alrealy knew these things and he already knew that they would be fine as they traveled.  It forced them to relate to the poor on a personal level.

I remember a boy I knew in school who was rather synical about people.  His father told him that he would pay for his school, but before he did, he was going to require him to walk across the continent.  His father gave him $200 in cash and sent him out the door with nothing more than a backpack full of clothes and a few personal items, some stamps and a journal to write about his journey.    He decided to invite a friend along for the journey.   The friend accepted.   The last thing I head they had made it into the midwest.  Worked at odd jobs as they went, and were very different people.  THey discovered a love of people along the way.

I believe it was the same for the disciples.   They might not have understood everyone theymet.  They probably met alot of people who were not of the same faith that they were.  In the end, they met the real presence of the Body of Christ in the strangers they met and shared a portion of their lives with.

The question becomes, can we are brothers and sisters recognize Christ in the stranger, in the poor, in the people we meet in the street.    We can, if we choose to.

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