Reflection for October 18

Christ sent the disciples out in pairs on His mission, telling them “behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.”

What a radical faith in Jesus it takes to obey such a mandate. Can you imagine being given such a task? Go out, He says, without your Visa and your MasterCard; you won’t need them. I will provide what you need, not on expense account but directly to you. Don’t take that trendy and stylish messenger bag with your Kindle and your iPhone and your Gameboy.  Those are just distractions; they take your mind away from the things that should occupy it. Don’t even take your shoes with you, He says. He is telling us that we think we need so many things of the world, when what we really need is God Himself. God provides.

And do not stop along the road to visit or to gossip. Recall that when the Lord sent Elisha forth in Second Kings to lay his staff on the body of the dead child, he was sent in haste. He was told to speak to no one along the way. His task was too important; time was too much of the essence.

This is how Christ sends His disciples forth. He is giving them an apostolic mission, and it takes a radical faith in the Lord to accept such a mission. It takes a firm belief that God is sending you, and that you are important to Him. He will not forget you; He will not abandon you. In fact, He will be with you every step of the way, providing everything you need.

Authentic Christian discipleship can only be undertaken with this sort of faith. God may not call all of us to visit foreign cities to spread the Gospel, but He does call all of us to specific tasks. Often, our success depends on our faith in God. Do we load ourselves up for the journey with things we think we will need, but in fact will only serve to distract, or do we put our faith in God to lead us to the end He desires? It takes great faith to trust that deeply in the Lord; as Christians, that is the faith to which we are called.

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