Luke 9:1-6 Abandonment vs. Loneliness
Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority… and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.”
While I was working at Kodak, I enjoyed the benefits of a salary and excellent health insurance. When I left the business world and entered the seminary, I lost both, my salary and health insurance. So, for nearly twenty years, I never earned a salary and never had health insurance. At first this was a huge concern to me, but I gradually began to trust in God and my concerns nearly vanished. I can honestly say I never got seriously ill while I was a religious. Then, in 2010, I began the process of incardination in the Diocese of Dallas. I immediately received health insurance. And within a year, I was admitted into the emergency room at least three times! Wow!
What is the moral of the story? There might be a few. (1) The Lord provides everything we need when we need it. (2) The more we have, the more we worry. [I find this one to be more in tune with my personality.]
Take nothing for the journey. Of course the Lord wants his Apostles to take something with them. But what is it? What is the essential item? What does He want us to take with us whenever we go somewhere or whenever we do something? What are we supposed to never neglect, never abandon and never leave behind? What are we supposed to keep in mind before we make an important decision?
One word answer: Himself. The Lord wants us to take Him along our journey of life.
Take me with you in what you do and where you go!
The Lord sent His Apostles, two by two, and with less and less, to learn the meaning of divine abandonment: to place their trust, their lives, their mission, their joy, their security and peace, and sanity and health in His hands.
Of course it was not easy, but it was the best thing He could ever do. The earlier we learn from this, the more successful (and peaceful) we will be. Take a look and see for yourself.
Have you ever noticed how pretty people worry a lot about their appearance? And how all their worrying takes away nearly all their peace? Teenagers are scared out of their minds if they don’t have this or don’t have that. They weigh themselves incessantly; look at themselves far more often than occasionally; manicure and whiten just about everything. Has this increased their sense of dignity and morality? Has it made them more virtuous and less stressed? Where has all their security gone? I tell you it has gone out the window along with their smile and happiness.
Have you noticed how ‘ugly’ people do not worry about their appearances? They live with what they got. And they actually appreciate what they have received. In fact, they focus on other things…and for the better.
I never worried much about my appearance. I knew where I stood. And that allowed me to focus on other things, far more important things. I learned to give my attention rather than to receive attention, and that has made a happy difference in my life.
Hold on to that which is eternal; let all that is temporal slip through your fingers. It's okay. It's actually a good thing.
The life of Christ (of his Apostles and disciples, martyrs and saints) was a life defined by divine abandonment and human simplicity. He and his companions learned not to fret over what they did not have. They learned to seek no more than they needed. They neither lived in a mansion nor drove a Ferrari. They dressed reasonably, not fashionably. In fact, none of us exactly know what any of them looked like. They did not have their portraits taken or a bust made in their image. But with all their human limitations and empires fighting against them, they still managed to turn the other cheek, conquer the Roman Empire and turn it into one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
Now that’s the power of Divine abandonment...and the difference between loneliness.