Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Amos 7:12-15, Ephesians 1:3-14,
Gospel - Mark 6:7-13
Today’s gospel speaks of Jesus‘ selection process of the disciples.
When I reflect on how Jesus selected His disciples, it leaves me in awe of how little He actually knew about them. There wasn’t an interview process, nor was there a résumé. Jesus chose them according to some other standard, an inner knowing. Without much discussion, Jesus went about His search, picking and choosing without knowing the disciples preaching skills or their people skills, or their work experience. Maybe Jesus was letting us know that he wasn’t looking for skills, “know-how,” or anything of that sort. Maybe what He wanted us to know was that He was looking for hearts that were open and willing to know Him, and no words they would have offered could have convinced anyone of that. Jesus did not depend on verbal interaction with the men and women He chose. He didn’t look outwardly for direction. He looked inward where no criteria scale, skill-set, or resume would suffice. Jesus sought His answers from within Himself, where God, His Father, dwelled.
When reflecting on the Gospels of Jesus, I often wonder about the things not said, the explanations not given. Even for Jesus, the Son of God, the Spirit was more important than the spoken or written word. That’s why there sometimes appears to be gaps or vagueness in scripture. Jesus never intended for His message to be taken literally. Rather, that in the gaps and generalities, we would look within and seek the guidance of the Spirit. When meditating on the scriptures, the words would be empty if not for the infusion of meaning given by the Holy Spirit. So, why are the directives given in this passage specific yet vague; some might even say irrational or illogical? Bring this, don’t bring that; go here, don’t go there. Stay. Leave. Maybe it is to lead them and us inward for guidance, with faith and trust in the Source.
In this age of technology and ease, we have all learned (even I)how to use navigational apps in our cars. Whether Google Maps, GPS, or Waze, we have all benefited from these advances. My favorite is Waze. I refer to it as “her and she“ and nicknamed her Wazy. Our relationship often reminds me of my relationship with God. Strange but true. I have learned to trust Wazy and have faith in her directives. I don’t always agree with where she sends me or her chosen course, but I have faith in the outcome - that I will reach my destination. Does this process sound familiar? Sometimes my journey with her creates anxiety, doubt, even fear if my trip is long and winding. Sometimes my journey with Jesus creates those same feelings, but I have learned to stay the course and trust the outcome, whether I’m with Wazy or Jesus. Both call for faith and trust even when we are anxious, doubtful, or fearful.
If we are to be effective disciples of Christ, we must stay the course, trust the process, and follow all directives so that we, too, can be a healing presence in our world, as the first disciples were. Regardless of how irrational or illogical the facts may seem, the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit will always lead us home, wherever and whatever that may be. Thy will be done.
Peggy Roach, Associate