Wednesday September 27th - Saint Vincent de Paul
I would imagine that this was a daunting prospect for the twelve. They had watched for some time now as Jesus did exactly what He was commissioning them to do. Yet, He is God and they are not. Not only is the idea of performing the works intimidating but Jesus also requires that they take nothing for the task. They must learn to rely solely on the grace of God working through them and through their fellow man. In addition, He also subtly tells them that there will be times when they will not be accepted.
Two thousands years later, from my lofty perch, this seems to be a brief break in the healings, message and travels of the Lord. It appears as an interlude or intermission to me. However, to the apostles it was far from that. This was a test or training. It was a work program and a chance to witness to their apprenticeship. In their journey, if they were faithful, they would be treated much the same as the Master. They would gather crowds to hear their words and witness their healings and they would also gather mortal enemies.
It is difficult for me to believe but Jesus asks me to do the same. As a faithful Catholic, through virtue of my Baptism, I have been made a priest, prophet, and king. Strengthened through the Eucharist and the power of the Holy Spirit through the sacrament of Confirmation I too have been given the power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and I am sent to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal. I don't boast in this. In fact, the reality of it scares me to death. Yet, deep in the recesses of my heart I remember certain passages that have recently been uttered by Our Lord in the Gospel readings - "for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away." - "My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it." - "Why do call me Lord, Lord, but not do what I command."
Lord Jesus, I place all that I have and all that I am at Your disposal. I claim You as my sovereign King and reject all others. Speak to Your servant and command me to preach, heal, and cast out and I will do so by Your power. I will rely on nothing but You and Your love for me. I will take no staff for You will support me. I will take no bag for You are my only necessity. I will take no bread for the bread that sustains me is the True Bread that does not leave me hungry and yet I am never full. I will take no money for it will rust and crumble and cannot purchase that which is priceless. I will take but one covering, I will cover myself with You, I will cast off the old man and put on the new. I desire nothing but to serve You and be treated as You were treated. Amen!
FROM THE SAINTS - "Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as out masters and patrons." - Saint Vincent de Paul