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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

Reflecting on Mark 6: 7-13

This gospel always transports me to that memorable summer when I did the obligatory ten weeks’ European vacation with some friends. That was the Age of Aquarius, right, when twenty-somethings took off for Europe in droves, wearing Birkenstocks, and carrying enormous backpacks that we cluelessly unloaded on the seats next to us on the train.

It’s one particular week in Greece that I especially remember. We had no money, naturally, for a hostel or hotel room, so we slept on the couches of the lobby of an ancient hotel that didn’t bother to lock the doors at night.

Every hot, sticky morning, we awoke with the cats of the neighborhood sleeping on our stomachs or backs. We all languidly stretched, licked our lips, and the cats went out in search of milk while the humans searched for coffee. Ah, the sixties (which actually extended well into the seventies).

I’ll bet those disciples, sent out with no food, no backpack, and no money, slept in far worse conditions than those. They probably didn’t have to, since they could have taken money for lodging, but it was the very fact that they had no provision that prompted those they visited to care for them.

There must have been deep conversations as they all fell asleep together. Can you imagine having one of the actual eyewitnesses to Jesus staying at your house? If they had had their own food, their own extra clothes, their own money for lodging, they wouldn’t have needed their gracious hosts. And the gospel might have never moved out of the Galilee.

The Sisters who taught us back in those Sixties carried nothing. I think I get it now.

How can you get back to a more simple lifestyle?

Kathy McGovern ©2021

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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