Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B Mr 6,7-13

Take nothing but yourself! 

Today’s Gospel raises one problem. That is, not only the evangelist Mark writes about the sending out of the apostles, but also Matthew and Luke. And there is a difference in these three texts. The list of things that disciples can take with them on the journey varies. What is permitted by one evangelist is not allowed by another. So what can you take with you and what can’t you? What was the actual list of things that the disciples should or should not take with them? However, looking deeper at the matter, we find that the problem is elsewhere. Jesus was not at all concerned with what his disciples were not to take with them. I was primarily concerned with what they must not forget to take on their mission trip. What was that? Well, they. All of them should have remembered to take themselves with them on the mission trip.

Today, Jesus would expand the list of things we should not take. For example, he would say: don’t take your cell phone, laptop, projector, or car… Well, we know that many missionaries take all of this with them. So, are they sinning? In the time of Jesus, did those who took sandals, a stick, or a dress sin? Should they go naked or barefoot? Probably hardly. So the bottom line is this: “Take what you want if you need it, but please don’t replace yourself with anything you take. Above all, take yourself as you became when you encountered the Gospel. God’s word changed him.

Self-degassed by the Gospel. Other things may benefit you, but they must not overshadow you…” Let us look at the list of things Jesus mentions in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke and investigate what Jesus could have had in mind when he told us so we don’t take these things with us on a mission trip. However, I have one suggestion! Since we are all young people at UPC, let’s look at the mission more narrowly: for example, as a trip to another person, let’s say to your girl would you like to create a relationship, or to your friends, etc.

What does the stick symbolize? Jesus says, “Don’t take the stick if you don’t have a stick.” Don’t support yourself. Go alone without her. The stick symbolizes things outside us that many rely on titles, statuses, positions, and functions. Many of us would only know who we are if we had titles. People call us Mr. Doctor, Mr. Pastor, Mr. Engineer. If we didn’t have this, what would we be? What would I be without my degree? What would I offer people? Would I still be valuable to them? Many of us like newspaper reports about ourselves or other propaganda. What would I be without them? However, I have a price even without a stick. If the Gospel transforms me, this is a great value.

So, let’s not take the stick. Let’s take ourselves. Sv. Philip Neri came from Florence, an impoverished noble family. When he left home for the world, it is said that his father gave him the family tree of his ancestors written on paper. He came from an impoverished noble family. He advised him to show it at the right moment and place, which would surely help him. Although Philip took it out of respect for his father, he eventually threw it from the bridge into the Arno River, which passes through Florence. You said: “After all, I have to prove that I have something in me.” I don’t need papers or a family tree for that!” In other words, I don’t need a stick. When you have to go without a stick, it means that although you will strive for titles and positions… you will never replace yourself with all of these. If you are of no use, a title neither position nor rank. You have to go to the people.

A pocket is a storehouse of things. But he doesn’t know how much he will need, so he becomes self-sufficient. Don’t depend on others. They will be happy when they can give you something because it is humbling . People will receive you with more love when they see that you need them, not just you. If you were self-sufficient, you would sit at the table set for you, but you would eat your food because I have mine!” We can imagine what that could cause. Another aspect is not even having plans in your pocket.

I have plans in this sense: I am going to people with a finished thing. I am going to give them things that I have already prepared and planned in advance. I am not prepared for any surprises or modifications to my plans. Everything is fixed in advance. No, I don’t have plans. Meet people halfway somewhere. And meeting another person will turn not only them but also you. Get ready for it. Get ready to modify your plans…

No money: Money is a symbol of hidden wealth. Wealth like fields, houses, and cars is visible. But the money needs to be visible. Some have money as a reserve; they can buy everything with it. Really? Can money buy friendship, closeness, and relationships with people? Money is also a symbol of power. Could you not take them? Go alone, without money.

Without pairs of clothes: They say, “Clothes make the man.” That’s what the proverb says. Really? Many of us wear clothes or use cosmetics not as a sign of need but to cover something up. To put on a mask. Today’s fashion industry does tricks; for example, you shouldn’t wear white clothes or horizontal stripes. They can cover what should be exposed, but don’t wear a mask! The truth. Just be yourself. Be “naked” what you are. Offer that to people.

Without sandals: In the Scriptures, there is a mention of how Jacob took off his shoes at the place he was going to. It was a sign that he respected the place as holy. This should also be the attitude of a missionary who goes to other people or to another person. When you approach other people, you have to take off your shoes because this place is holy… and there is a danger that he will trample the dreams of another person with his boots. Approach others with respect and gentleness.

A missionary has accepted God’s kingdom and desires to pass it on without a price tag, directly, and without delay. More precisely, a missionary is a person who gives himself to others, himself transformed by the message of the kingdom of God. In other words, giving only yourself is sometimes what people want from you. We know many people who give themselves to others as they are, who are unhappy about it. Many people are a nuisance and a burden to others. When we talk about surrendering ourselves, we mean here – as we said in the introduction – about ourselves, who are transformed by God’s word: in whose presence others feel good, who radiate love, holiness, joy, and peace. A saying goes: “People forget what you told them.” They will forget what you did for them. Well, they’ll never forget how they felt in your presence.” And that’s precisely the point.

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