23 September, 2020. Wednesday of Week 25

23 September, 2020. Wednesday of Week 25

St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (Memorial); St Eunan (Adomnan) (Opt. Mem.)

1st Reading: Proverbs 30:5-9

In praise of moderation and sobriety

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.

Responsorial: from Psalm 119

R./: Your word is a lamp for my steps, O Lord

Keep me, Lord from the way of error
and teach me your law.
The law from your mouth means more to me
than silver and gold. (R./)
Your word, O Lord, for ever
stands firm in the heavens.
I turn my feet from evil paths
to obey your word. (R./)
I gain understanding from your precepts
and so I hate false ways.
Lies I hate and detest
but your law is my love. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 9:1-6

Jesus sends the twelve out on 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. If we have absorbed the Darwinian message of the survival of the fittest, we could be tempted to shove aside any who stand in our way. Armed with whatever prestige or learning they have acquired, many are tempted to twist truth and law to their own benefit and to the harm of others. Some even believe that “Greed is good!” but 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 poor, but a warning for the rich.
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. If the shadow of a living saint crosses our path, even among our friends, we are blessed. We should encourage their ideals, support them, welcome them to our homes. Like the apostles, they bring God to our doorsteps.

Travelling light

When Jesus sent the twelve out on their mission, he wanted them to travel light. They should not carry much baggage, but depend on the hospitality of those to whom they preach the gospel. Rather than be fully furnished with everything, they had to rely on the kindness of strangers, to trust in the Lord that others would provide for them.
We all like to be our independent individual selves, which is a good thing; but we can never be completely self-reliant. We began life dependent on others, and towards the end of our life we may once more be in that position. Yet, even between these two times of high dependence, we depend on others in so many ways.
In God’s family, we are each meant to live in a spirit of give-and-take. Notice the many ways that we depend on others to do for us what we cannot do ourselves. It’s a mistake to try to go it alone and deny ourselves the help that others are willing to offer. Just as we are expected to love and serve others in any way we can, so we should welcome the service that God provides through the goodness of others. Each has much to give and much to receive. As the Lord wants to serve others through us He also wants to serve us through others.

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