One of the things that is different for me in my new assignment is that the parish has three deacons. They each have a turn in preaching on Sunday. Currently, I will be preaching every other weekend. They each take a turn on the other weekends. Today is the first time one of the deacons preached so I did not prepare a homily this week. However, I still spent some time this week reflecting on the readings. The following is not a fully developed homily but it does share a little of my thoughts this week in prayer.
Today’s gospel reading begins with Jesus summoning the Twelve and sending them out. This happens on Jesus’ initiative, not theirs. We might want to do things our way but we need to be followers, allowing Jesus to lead us.
The Twelve were Apostles. The word “apostle” means sent. The Twelve went sent in a particular role. They were not just “apostles” with a lowercase “a”. They were “Apostles” with an uppercase “A.” Today it is the bishops who serve as successors to the Apostles. They did not apply for the job. They were chosen by God.
We are all chosen. God has a role for each one of us to play in fulfilling his plan. However, we are not all called to the same role (see Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12). In our prayer we need to ask God to lead us to the role He has for us. It might surprise us. Amos “was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores” when the Lord took him and made him a prophet. Since a prophet delivers God’s message, one might expect that a prophet should be a highly educated theologian. Certainly, such theologians are important in teaching about our faith. However, in Amos’ time God didn’t need a highly educated theologian who might deliver his/her own message. God wanted a prophet to deliver the message that God would give.
In Baptism we are all called to be priest, prophet, and king. How might you be a prophet? Maybe God does want to you teach others about our faith. For parents this starts with teaching your own children about our faith. God calls some to teach religion classes. You can also be a prophet by sharing with others why your faith is important to you. You can tell others that Jesus loves us so much that He willingly lays down his life for us.
You might feel unworthy. Don’t worry. If God is calling you to a task, He will make you worthy. You can trust him.
In the gospel today, Jesus instructs the Twelve to “take nothing for the journey but a walking stick, no food, no sack, no money in their belts.” This is poverty but it is more than that. It is trust. Do we trust God to provide what we need?
Do you trust God to lead you and to provide what you need to do his will?