24Sep 24th September. Wednesday, Week 25

First Reading: Proverbs 30:5-9

(Words in praise of moderation and sobriety, and a prayer for just enough.)

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words, or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar.
Two things I ask of you; do not deny them to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that I need,
or I shall be full, and deny you, and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.

Gospel: Luke 9:1-6

(Jesus sends the twelve on their mission, travelling light!)

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money — not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

Soberly courageous

Proverbs has a sober message for the wealthy and powerful, as in competitive times, marked by determination to get ahead. Armed with whatever prestige or learning we may have acquired, human nature is tempted to twist truth and law to our own benefit and to the harm of others. We can easily grow greedy, and as Proverbs says elsewhere, greed, like lust, starves the soul (Prov 13.19). We need to be warned – and we are! These words were not minted for the low income days of recession!

We sense a glow of confidence in Jesus as he sends out the Twelve, to drive out demons, cure diseases and proclaim the reign of God. As traveling preachers they need to trust in people’s generosity, so they need not carry bread or money, not even staff and traveling bag. In our own lives, whenever we meet such joyful confidence, we should thank God. Occasionally the shadow of a living saint crosses our path even in our parish or our acquaintances. We should encourage their ideals, support them, receive them into our homes. Then the reign of God will be at our doorstep.

 


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