"He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey
(St. Luke 9.3)
We are wanting in nothing, except
faith. Of course we trust in God, but we are appalled at His treatment
of His friends, His Saints. Look at St. Paul himself:
"Even unto this hour we both hunger and
thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; ...
we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. We
are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world,
the off-scouring of all even until now."
(I Corinthians 4.11-13)
Somehow we have lost something in the translation.
Jesus told us that who would follow Him on the journey must
"take up his cross."
Not his cell phone, or her PDA, or laptop, extra clothing and, oh yes,
the extra twenty dollars ... "just in case" — in short,
all the things of this world that you cannot carry into the next. This
leaves you with decidedly little for the journey, and if we look at
St. Paul and the Saints, it is decidedly not an easy or comfortable
Who told you it would be?
This is perplexing.
we have translated faith into warm blankets, secure shelter, respectable
clothing, adequate money, abundant food, and being well-received (after
all, we are ambassadors of Christ. Okay, so they did not
receive Him terribly well two thousand years ago, but times have changed
... especially if you are a "professional" Catholic: you know, one who
earns a salary selling to others what was freely given to you)
... and, "oh, yes, would you place that cross on the baggage trolley,
Christ is the Wisdom of God. He knows that we have to travel light and
despite all our clutching, have to let go of the money we earned preaching
the Gospel in the much in the way that the Sophist Protagoras*
pass through the Needle's Eye.
worse, if it is bound to you too tightly ... neither will you ...
must look at all about you and say, with Christ,
"Where I am going, you cannot follow."
Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
Socrate's antagonist in Plato's Dialogue, "Protagoras"
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