15th Sunday In Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: July 11, 2021
Do you have a spiritual companion? Someone who is a support to you in living your faith as a disciple of Jesus? For some of you it might be your spouse, for others perhaps a parent or grandparent. For some it might be a friend or a member of your parish. For some there might be a priest or religious or perhaps some spiritual writer that is a great support to you. For some of us there may be a saint who inspires and encourages us in our faith.
In fact, the reason for the church is that we cannot live a Christian life privately, on our own. We all need others who walks with us on this path.
We are told in our gospel that Jesus began to send them out two by two. He did not send them out alone. Two by two. This is the model for all Christian discipleship. We need to have spiritual companions who are walking this journey with us.
Pope Francis speaks of Synodality and the long tradition of Synods in the history of the church, which is rooted in this being sent two by two. Basically it is about us walking together. Within our parish as we prepare within the next year to move into a new church, our challenge will be to form a parish that truly walks together.
In fact, I hope to establish a synod body in our parish to help us to listen to all parishioners and to help us to walk together into our future. In fact, if you are interested in being part of this body then let me know.
When Jesus sends them, he tells them, “take nothing for the journey…” When we have a lot, when we are wealthy, we can believe that we are independent, that I do not need others. Often the less we have the more we realize our need for God and our need for others. We realize we need others on this journey through life and as a disciple of Jesus.
What was Jesus sending his disciples out to do? They were sent out to proclaim the good news, to bring healing and freedom and peace. Jesus is sending us out to bring good news, to bring healing and peace and reconciliation.
So, where is Jesus sending us out today? Look within your family, within your parish, within your community, within our world. Where is healing needed, peace needed, reconciliation needed? Go out from here and be an instrument of God as a disciple of Jesus.
But, remember that Jesus sends us out two by two. Look for good spiritual companions to walk with you on this journey. Good spiritual friends, fellow parishioners, good spiritual writers, saint models and so on. It is easier at times to just go off on my own, do my own thing, separate from any community. But, the long path of being a disciple of Jesus requires that we follow it two by two, that we walk together.