A few days ago, we celebrated the 4th of July. For many, it marks the fact that we are half way through summer. And the way the weather has been, it seems like it just started. It’s a time of year when many of us go on vacation. Perhaps to visit places we’ve never been before, travel up north, Wisconsin Dells, or simply have a stay at home vacation. When I take a trip, I tend to pack too many things. Some good advice I heard once was lay all the things you’re taking on the bed and then put half of them away.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is sending his disciples to travel to places he intended to visit. It was not a vacation, they were working on building up the kingdom of God. He wants his disciples to realize that this mission is not easy and potentially dangerous. So He sends them in pairs, so they are not alone. He sends them without money or possessions (travel light) so they are not a target for thieves and that they depend totally on Him. He offers them peace, so they do not come or leave with hostility. He insists that they merely move on, if they are not welcomed. The disciples are to come in peace, offering peace, and giving peace.
Let us remember in this vacation time, that there is no vacation from our vocation. We are called to bring the Good News where ever we travel, near or far, and remember to pray. Summer is not a time to take off from Mass. And, especially this week, let us celebrate and thank God for our country and the great freedoms we enjoy.
Love, Peace, Joy