Sunday, July 15, 2012

"If you are what you should be, then you will set the world on fire."

"If anyone is seeking God, know that the Beloved is seeking that person much more." - St. John of the Cross

(Gospel text: Mk 6:7-13) Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick-- no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them." So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
In our culture, we say: "Ready; get set; go." Jesus says something different: "Ready; don't be 'set upon the things of this world' (Phil 3:19), and go." To get ready to go for Jesus doesn't mean that we pack our bags; rather, it means that we get rid of our baggage. Jesus "instructed them to take nothing on their journey but a walking stick — no food, no traveling bag, not a coin in the purses in their belts" (Mk 6:8).
Jesus practiced what He preached. He went out with nothing. When God became a human being, He emptied Himself (Phil 2:7). When He was born, there was no room for Him except in a stable (Lk 2:7). When Jesus did His public ministry, He had nowhere to lay His head (Lk 9:58).
“What I desire depends on how I answer the question,” ‘How am I?'” i.e. “What is my truth?”

When people ask you about how you are today, you seldom answer the question honestly. You may not even have asked yourself how you are, and if you did, well, you wouldn’t want to share your true condition with everyone.
Desire is often prelude to the gift. I make a distinction here between “wants” and “desires.” Wants are natural, pedestrian, easily experienced. Desires are deep-down things, taking time to feel them and worth the adventure of the seeking.

In the Spiritual Life, prayer becomes the intersection of God’s desire and our desire, which does take our time to find beneath the layers of selfishness and fear. God meets us where our deep desires percolate. This however requires us to be honest with ourselves, as well as patient.

In today’s gospel the Twelve disciples did not argue, they did not worry about going hungry, they simply followed the call and went. I guess we have to ask ourselves the inevitable question, “Do we do the same?”

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