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Traveling Light, a Reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel

Jesus blessing the Apostles mosaic, Lateran Palace

Father Lawrence Lew, OP-cc

Brother Silas Henderson, SDS - published on 07/10/15

Why the Kingdom of God is such an urgent matter

Sunday Readings

Reflection for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
July 12, 2015

“Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two… He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts.”—Mark 6:7-8

Have you ever received an emergency phone call in the middle of the night or been awakened by a smoke alarm? What did you do?

When most of us are faced with an urgent situation, we take only what we need and we go quickly to respond to the crisis or need.

When Jesus sent out the “Twelve”—his closest friends and collaborators—he was trying to stress to them that the work they should be doing as his followers was urgent and needed immediate attention. He was entrusting to them his own mission of reconciliation and healing. There wasn’t time to make careful plans or to pack supplies for their journey. The time to act was now and they had important work to do: their mission couldn’t wait because there was nothing more important than proclaiming the Good News of God’s love and mercy.

Jesus is asking exactly the same thing of us today. Like the Apostles, we are also called to share Jesus’ message of love and mercy. This has always been the special responsibility of Christians and it is needed today as much as it has ever been before.

There are two questions we can ask ourselves: How am I living out the mission of reconciliation and healing that has been entrusted to me? and What do I need to let go of (fears, doubts, bad habits, unhealthy attachments to things, etc.), so that I can be truly free to live out my mission?

Words of Wisdom: “Try to be free with regard to material things. The Lord calls us to a Gospel lifestyle marked by sobriety, by a refusal to yield to the culture of consumerism. This means being concerned with the essentials and learning to do without all those unneeded extras which hem us in… Let us put Jesus first.”—Pope Francis (Message for World Youth Day, 2014)

Silas Henderson is a catechist, retreat director, and writer whose reflections and articles have appeared in numerous Catholic publications. He is also the author of From Season to Season: A Book of Saintly Wisdom and Moving Beyond Doubt, as well as the upcoming books Lights for a Waiting World: Celebrating Advent with the Saints (Abbey Press) and With An Undivided Heart: A Life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (Ignatius Press). He currently serves as the managing editor of Abbey Press Publications and Deacon Digest Magazine. You can find him at and

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