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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

Reflecting on Mk. 6:7-13

Take nothing with you, Jesus said.  No money, no food, no walking stick. The Twelve would be completely at the mercy of those who extended hospitality towards them.

Have you ever spent a night, or even a few hours, away from home without your driver’s license, your credit card, your phone and your car keys? This “immersion experience” is employed by many religious communities as an opportunity for their novices to share, even for a very short time, the helplessness of those who live on the street.

I remember that scene from The Hiding Place, when the Nazis stormed in to Corrie ten Boom’s home. Unsuccessful in their search for the rumored “secret room,” they arrested Corrie and her family. She had anticipated this night, of course, and had her bag packed with some treasured photographs, her nightgown, a change of clothes, and some aspirin.

What a comfort that aspirin would have been. She was suffering from influenza the night of her arrest. But the bag happened to be propped up against the hidden closet. Fearful that some tell-tale article of clothing might be hanging out from the hastily closed secret door, she left her bag behind. Of all the heroic actions she took to save the many precious lives hiding in that room, that’s the one that touches me the most. She was now, sick and aging, utterly without any of the comforts she had hoped to take with her to the camps.

Except for one. She had the companionship of Christ, who gave up heaven in order to be one with us on earth. That trumps the sacrifice of a night on the street without a cell phone.

In what ways have you experienced solidarity with those who have nothing?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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