Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B
Reflecting on Mark 6: 7-13
As I write this, Colorado is on fire. In the past month over 32,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, some leaving so fast that they were separated from pets and possessions and photographs they would surely have gathered if there had been time.
Along with the gratitude of escaping the fires (which has taken six lives this season in Colorado) comes the discomfort of being without so many of the things that make our lives manageable. Imagine moving into a relative’s home and being without your car, your bike, your laptop, your Kindle, your gym clothes, your prescription pills and vitamins, your daily prayer journal, etc. etc.
Imagine the kids in the guest homes, doubling and tripling up in rooms they once had to themselves. And everybody sharing the same television set! How you’d miss that long shower in the morning. And it would be so nice to have a set of clothes other than the ones you were wearing when you fled the fire.
That all supposes that you have a friend or relative to take you and your family in, but of course thousands have been sharing the limited resources of the shelters.
The Twelve in today’s Gospel are instructed to “take nothing for the journey”. Of course they volunteered for that journey. The evacuees were forced away, and many fled for their lives, leaving behind priceless mementos of their deepest loves. We pray for all of them, that their empty hands may be filled with the grace God alone can give.
Have you ever encountered grace through being stretched out of your comfort zone?
My dear friends Barb and John Gallagher helped me with this column. They live in Colorado Springs and personally know people who endured the terrors of the Waldo Canyon fire.
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
No one can experience “nothing for the journey” until they have made a visit to a prisoner in prison. I visit my son each month in prison, and I remember what a stretch it was for me to go out of my comfort zone to do this. On my first drive there, I was absolutely terrified. Who were the other visitors? How safe would I be? Yet, I had no need to lose faith. A woman I had never met reached out to me, without my asking, and answered the unspoken questions I had about the visit. Entering the visiting area, one finds what it is like to take “nothing” in. There are two security check points, and once inside there is very little there. Yet, the grace of sitting with my son for four hours and no distractions has helped me learn to listen like I never had before. The journey I volunteered for was the one of motherhood, and it certainly has been a journey that has blessed me many times over, though it has not been easy. Getting to the point I am at today with each of my children has been a hard won reward. I am so grateful for the grace God has given me to stay the course, run the race, and keep my eyes on the finish line!
How beautifully put Kathy.
This summer has put us all out-side of our comfort zones in so many ways. With the wildfire and record breaking temps, I kidding told a friend that we would well done soon, of course thats one of my ways of dealing with stressful times I joke. I worried because a friend of mine live about 5 minutes from the Garden of the gods. I was worried by the news up dates, but it’s impact hadn’t fully hit until I saw the picture of the house burned to a greyish ash house after house gone. My heart just broke at the realities of the losses. I have had a hard life, and I have some lost treasured items for one reason or other. But I have never lost everything as many or most of these people have, so all that these lips can whisper in prayer is “By the grace of God, there go I” God Bless you all, you are in our prayers. And what puts me outside my comfort zone is so many in need and I have no way to help them.