Got Baggage?

Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, martyrs

February 6, 2020

Click here for readings

Today, in Mercy, “journey” is a central theme. David takes his final journey after commissioning his son Solomon as his successor. In our Gospel, Jesus commissions the disciples for their first missionary journey.

Each of these journeys has its own “baggage requirements”.


David’s situation is easy and can be stated in a phrase we are all familiar with:

“You can’t take it with you.”

The writer of Job expresses the same sentiment:

chick-154490_960_720And Job said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked shall I return.
The LORD gave,
and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Job 1:2

 


It’s a lesson we seem to have a hard time learning. Whenever I pack for a trip, the challenge resurfaces.

baggage
For anyone wondering, yes this is actually me at the airport, except for the heels! 🙂

Back in my early days of flying, when there were no baggage fees, some passengers took everything but the kitchen sink on their journeys. I have a clear picture of petite women hauling suitcases bigger than themselves over to the check-in counter.

Often in life we carry a lot of baggage we don’t need. Some of it is good stuff we just can’t part with, and some of it is junk we should have tossed long ago. The point is that it’s all weight we don’t need if we want to reach our desired destination easily.


 

Mk6_8journey
Jesus drives that point home to his disciples in today’s Gospel:

He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
– no food, no sack, no money in their belts.


Now that’s a pretty stringent packing list! So what might it mean for our spiritual journey?

Let’s ask ourselves this:

  • What weighs me down from being a loving, generous, just and merciful person?
  • Are there things I won’t let go of because I am fearful, insecure, or selfish?

When the disciples heeded Jesus’s advice, their ensuing freedom made them capable of miracles. Might such courage do the same thing for us?


Music: Have a little fun this morning with this great old country song. Apologies to all grammarians who will spot the blatant contradiction in the title!
I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now – Goodman Revival

Refrain:
Well, I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now
Gotta make it to Heaven somehow
Though the devil tempt me and he tried to turn me around
He’s offered everything that’s got a name
All the wealth I want and worldly fame
If I could still I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now

Well, I started out travellin’ for the Lord many years ago
I’ve had a lot of heartache and I met a lot of grief and woe
But when I would stumble then I would humble down
And there I’d say, I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now

Oh, there’s nothin’ in this world that’ll ever take the place of God’s love
All the silver and gold wouldn’t buy a touch from above
When the soul needs healin’ and I begin to feelin’ His power
Then I can say, thank the Lord, I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now

Oh, I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now
Gotta make it to Heaven somehow
Though the devil tempts me and he tried to turn me around
He’s offered everything that’s got a name
All the wealth I want and worldly fame
If I could still I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now.

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