“Take nothing for the journey but a walking stick.”
In the Gospel today, as the disciples were about to begin their journey, Jesus asked them to bring nothing but a walking stick. No food, no sack, and even money. They may wear sandals but not a second tunic. I can imagine the looks on their faces and probably they were asking how they can fulfill their tasks when they do not have anything but just a walking stick.
I remember, when the altar servers in the parish were having their annual outing back then, we made sure that we were bringing everything with us—personal clothes, toiletries, extra money, food among others. We were not only bringing things that we needed just for the day’s trip. We were also bringing extra with us, in case of emergency.
With the disciples, they were bringing nothing of that sort. To me, Jesus is teaching the disciples two things—simplicity and providence. God will provide everything that they need in the journey. Jesus is teaching His disciples simplicity—to let go of things that are not essential in the mission. Henri Nouwen wrote, “Fear is precisely what makes us hold on to our position and possessions … Love is overcoming fear. Love is letting go and trusting that in letting go, life will multiply. Life will become more.” When we let go of these material possessions and other things that are not truly essential, then we become empty and more available for others and for the mission we received. God will give everything that we need in order to fulfill this mission. The Lord is asking us to trust in Him. God will give what is missing and lacking in our life. Then we shall see later that everything that happens in our lives is a grace from Him.
By: Sem. Renz Marion C. Cunanan
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.