Thursday, July 07, 2005

Keeping the laborer's keep

Today's Gospel reading is from Matthew 10:7-15 -

{Jesus told His Apostles to} "Preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart. As you enter the house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town."

Matthew also tells us that Jesus said "not to lay up treasures up on earth." That is certainly clear, stark teaching: I wonder what the "prosperity gospellers" make of those Scripture verses in amongst their "Name It, Claim It" sermons.

What I was struck by this morning at Mass is not only are we to keep from overamassing possessions, but I think these verses also tell us that once we enter a house, bringing our peace on it, we are to accept our keep, such as we find it, but not to take any of that with us, either.

Scripture truly lives, doesn't it? I found a new emphasis this morning. I'm cool (or I think I'm cool) with passing by a great deal of life's experiences and goods, because Jesus will give me what I need (whoever gives up land, or children, or father, or mother, will receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life - good old Matthew). But then I have to keep giving that away, too!

Travel light.




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