“Do not carry a traveller’s bag, or an extra shirt, or sandals, or walking stick”

Matthew 10:10

Monday, 13 July 2020

Matthew 10:7-14

Whenever we decide to make a journey, we begin by preparing what we need to take with us. The more scrupulous among us may make lists! We pack what we need, and we head off. We want to make sure that we have all the necessary bits and pieces so that our journey is successful.

Today’s Gospel text invites us to reflect on our spiritual journey. Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that the point of their journey is one of service. He tells them to heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse lepers and drive out demons. This is no easy mission. The disciples may well have asked him: “Where are the tools to do these things?” Jesus gives them no toolbox for these monumental tasks, no material thing that will aid them. Jesus says what they truly need is the gift of a servant’s heart.

The Message translation of the scriptures by Eugene Peterson offers us a wonderful insight into the instructions Jesus gives. He writes: “Don’t think that you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment”.

We live in a culture and context where the acquisition of things is so often our focus. We think that the things we have will make us good or successful. Often the more we get, the more we desire. We have an insatiable desire for material possessions.

Jesus instructs his disciples to bring their gifts and talents to the service of others. You don’t need equipment; you are the equipment!

We are invited to consider two things today. Firstly, can I let go of the many material things around me – perhaps the things I cling to – in order to offer my God-given gifts and talents for the service of others? Do I recognise the personal gifts that God has bestowed on me? Secondly, in what ways can I cultivate a servant’s heart?

Lord God,
Help me to bring my gifts and talents to the service of others. Free me from the desire for possessions that add no value to the immense value I already have as your beloved. Grace me with a deep desire to serve and cultivate in me a servant’s heart.

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
See more from Russell Pollitt SJ
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