Dear Seekers of Jesus,
Today’s gospel (Mark 6:7-13) splashes us in the face to wake us up. The message is quite sobering. We are to take nothing with us in this journey of faith. Jesus sends his disciples out of the nest two by two and tells them that they must realize their sheer dependency on God. Take a walking stick. No food. No sack. No money in their belts. Wear sandals. No second tunic.
Jesus challenges his disciples to go into the world and accomplish absolutely amazing things. Drive out demons. Anoint sick people with oil. Cure them. The focus here is truly grace filled. Jesus wants the best for his people beginning with sheer repentance.
This extreme command of Jesus sets an incredible tone of what our call is about even today. We are to live in our world with an amazing intention of faith. I admit, there are few people today who live out their faith with such purpose and drive. Perhaps, this is the reason why the Church and faith seem rather dim and purposeless today.
Each generation of believers bring their own zeal from the call of Jesus. This year I have celebrated thirty-five years of priesthood and I am now on a brink of a new generation of believers who will bring their own faith and formation to the Church. I have preached retreats to priests in several dioceses in recent years and all of the young clergy are very vocal about how they hope to restore the Church that my generation has messed up. Every generation says such things because of the zeal and hope that young hearts bring from their faith in Christ Jesus. This is what is supposed to happen. I look forward to our young people who will step into leadership within the Church. They will arrive carrying little with them and they will focus on healing and forgiving, exactly like Jesus has asked each generation.
On the bulletin cover this week, we view the art of Anna Conklin once again on our baptismal font. This image of the Resurrection gives us our true purpose and call from God. Our baptism becomes the call for discipleship and it also fuels the fire for our desire to live out this gospel in each generation. Our purpose in the Church is to make sure the Resurrection is made known to people— people who are in real need, people who most need to understand God’s mercy, tenderness and forgiveness.
In each generation, we are to take the Resurrection to heart. We are to seize this new life. Jesus calls us and challenges us to make sure that we believe that life can break through death, that healing can restore suffering, that hope overrides our despair and that peace can find a home even in hearts that are cold and bitter.
I invite you to take to heart this gospel message this week. Ask yourself some questions such as: What possessions in your life weigh you down in living out Christ’s mission? What is the real goal of your life of faith? How are you living in your day the gift of Christ’s resurrection? How can you make room for a new generation of believers?