Prv 30:5-9; Ps 119:29,72,89,101,104,163; Lk 9:1-6
The Lord Jesus teaches his disciples that wherever our hearts are there are our treasure. Saint John of the Cross reaffirms this teaching in his statement that we become what we love. Our responsorial psalm has us pray about our love for the Law of the Lord. It is a healthy self-love that pleads with the LORD, remove from me the way of falsehood. We, who believe that the Lord knows and loves us better than we know and love ourselves, pray that the LORD favor us with his law. We want the guidance from on high that the Law of the Lord brings into our hearts. Indeed, we find that law of God’s mouth is more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. It is the Word of the LORD that endures forever; it is firm as the heavens. We do not hesitate to listen and live in response to the Word of the LORD. We actively avoid the evil ways open before us so that we may keep his words in our hearts. It is the precepts of the LORD that teach us discernment; so we hate false ways while we love those who are lost on these false ways. Self-deception and falsehood we hate and detest; the Law of the LORD we love. Indeed, we become a living witness to the value of the Lord’s precepts; we become what we love.
If every word of God is tested, then even more so does every word of God test us. The LORD probes us and knows us; his unabashed interest in us makes every word from his mouth a shield for those who take refuge in him. If we attend to his word, and cherish his teachings we will be safe and secure. Nothing we can add to the truth of his teaching can improve his teaching. If we try to add anything to his word, we will be exposed as a deceiver. His greatness is beyond our measure, and his wisdom is beyond our criticism. However, there are two things we need from the LORD. We plead for God’s protection from self-deception, and ask the LORD to keep lying far away from us. Also, we do not request either poverty or riches. We simply ask for what we need. May we never become lost in self-satisfaction, and we ignore the LORD. May we never have any excuse for stealing to satisfy hunger, and profane the name of the God we serve.
The power and authority given to the Twelve are a prefiguration of the Church’s mission today. Indeed, through the various ministries in the Body of Christ, all demons take flight and all who suffer disease are healed. Like our ancestors we are sent to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Yet, lest we become focused and limited to our own plans and achievements in ministry, we are to take nothing for the journey. We are to become totally dependant upon those among whom we serve. We are to depend on them for our material needs, food, clothing, and shelter. They are to depend upon us for Good News and healing. Again, lest we become too self-centered in our performance, the LORD bestows upon us the blessing of rejection. If we are not welcome in any village, we are to shake the dust from our feet in testimony against them. Again, our witness and our ministry is not about us, it is about the LORD and him alone. Our union with Christ and with each other in the Eucharist will make such an other-centered ministry possible.