Baggage Fees?

February 3, 2022
Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish 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:

And 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


Back in my early days of business 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, and a few guys, hauling suitcases bigger than themselves over to the check-in counter.

So often in life we carry a lot of baggage, both material and mental, that 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.


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, joyful, 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?


Poetry: let it go – e.e. cummings

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go
let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go
let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear
so comes love

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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