One of the striking features about todays Gospel is the insistence of Christ that his disciples take nothing with them for the journey; no bread, no haversack, no spare tunic, not even a few coppers for their pocket.
Because they are to depend on God and his providence, not on themselves on their own resources and talent but on Him!
In his Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of the Gospel Pope Francis speaks about the urgent need for a new evangelization in the church today. An evangelization based on the joy of the Gospel and a deep personal encounter with Christ. All Christians the pope says are called to this work.
But in a special way priest have a unique role to announce the joyful message of salvation. But Francis says too many of them don’t do this effectively enough because they speak from a divided heart, from a half-hearted commitment to their vocation and ministry.
And in a way that perhaps only Pope Francis could do he calls us to task! Do we put our own welfare before that of the Church, are we too comfortable, too concerned about ourselves and our well being, our leisure and free time! Have we forgotten the importance of poverty, simplicity of life and humility – our utter dependence on God.
In the Gospel today Jesus insists we take nothing with us for the journey, because we are totally dependent on God for everything. When we forget that basic truth there is no real evangelization, no true proclamation of the Gospel of Joy. For all this is God’s work: not ours, we are only ever servant and disciples. For we depend wholly and utterly on God, he alone is our shelter and strength the cause of our unending joy.