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. Oct 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

Carry no bag or extra tunic

Ezra 9:5-9, Lk. 9:1-6. Today's first reading begins with Ezra's confession, identifying himself with his people’s guilt: “My God, I am too ashamed to raise my face to you, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads.” Then he declares that divine mercy has blessed them again; they are a remnant, like a sapling firmly planted in the holy land. By God’s providence they also enjoy the goodwill of the Persian king, who helped rebuild the house of God. In Ezra's penitential prayer we see the need to be told things bluntly, admit our mistakes and take responsibility for them, through which we can count our blessings and be assured that there is a future for us and for our people. To make the world identify their guilt and make amend, Jesus sent out the Apostles, to cure the sick and promote the reign of God as recorded in today's Gospel. Like missionaries, Jesus instructed the Apostles to travel light, unencumbered with the baggage of material things. They are to walk the path of simplicity, openness and trust, be flexible and available. They are to depend on the hospitality of those to whom they preach the Gospel.

Rather than be overly self-reliant, they need to be reliant on others, to trust in the Lord, who would help them through the kindness of strangers. They brought a blessing by their joy and trust, inviting others to share their trust in God. The Lord also wants us to welcome the kindly service of others. Each of us has much to give and much to receive. The Lord who uses us to serve others also wants us to avail of others’ help. Like the disciples in the Gospel scene, we must depend on God, not on property, power or prestige. The only riches that matter are the riches of the Good News. Today’s disciples need to be focussed solely on God; only then will the power of God’s grace be free to work through them unrestrictedly. In this way they will bring Good News to the world which has lost its way and they will cure its diseases everywhere. Jesus suggests that we should live in a simple way and not be encumbered by niggling concerns. It will be difficult for us to bring Good News if we are concerned with our own details. We will be able to travel more lightly if we can make what matters to Jesus matter to us. God is not to be forced on people. God's love and care are an invitation to each of us to allow God to be part of our lives. The disciples of Jesus are to move on if they are not welcomed. Hostility can cling like dust to the feet and hinder further growth.

May the Lord keep us focused on the Gospel, so that we will not allow ourselves to be slowed down by the distractions of this world! Amen!! Good morning and have a terrific day!!!

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