Jesus said to the Twelve, “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.”
Do not take gold or silver or copper. The Gospel elaborates Jesus’ teachings about material goods in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 6:25-34). The synoptic gospels all advocate radical dependence on divine providence. The disciples of Jesus must not only teach what they learn but also practice what they preach and live what they believe.
Gold, silver, and copper refer to the ancient coins used for money. A sack is used to carry food. A second or extra tunic is a luxury in the ancient world. Sandals are the footwear, and the walking stick is a defense against brigands and wild beasts as well as handy equipment for climbing the rugged terrain of Palestine.
None of these material things will be urgently needed by the disciples. The ancient traveler, if he is poor, leaves his home with not much more than what the disciples are permitted to bring. The missionary of Christ must be like a poor traveler or pilgrim. He firmly believes that all His needs, material or spiritual, will be provided by God, whose radical but rich message he brings to His fellow human beings and to the rest of God’s creation.
It is not so much material destitution that Jesus demands of us as a poverty of spirit that looks to God rather than to self for sustenance.
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2012,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.,); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.