Homily – July 11, 2021

Have you ever heard the expression that someone is carrying too much baggage? Not physical things but maybe unresolved family conflicts, unresolved anger or resentments, unresolved, unresolved. Resentments and memories of which they can’t let go but continue to burden their lives

Jesus sent his disciples out to preach the good news with no means of support; no sandals, no staff, no bread, no purse. To walk the rocky roads of Galilee in such a way would be madness. No scandals to protect their feet, staff for self- defence, no companion for safety.

Yet they all carried their own personal baggage. Judas; his greed, Peter; his fickleness, James and John; the needs of their ambitious mother, these are the ones we know of.

Jesus gave these instructions to the disciples who were to travel rocky roads from one small village to another. Mark passed these words on to men and women who were urban dwellers, probably Romans but people embarked on a journey every Christian tries to travel.

If Mark was challenging his urban readers to make an analogous application to their living the way of Jesus in their settled urban lives, how might these instructions of Jesus apply to us who live on this small planet in an ever expanding universe?

We are on that same journey; we are a pilgrim people, so we can’t pretend to be ignorant of our realities, our baggage; global warming or plastic polluted seas, or the loss of topsoil. We can’t ignore our vulnerability to the global pandemics that is turning our lives upside down.

In our times Mark’s gospel calls us to live simply, that others might simply live. Our life styles call us to curb our greed and be conscious of the have nots of Earth. Our times call us to face the injustices of our past history and work to rectify them now. As Canadians we carry the baggage of residential schools, stolen land and broken treaties.

Our time calls us to put an end to our mentality of consumerism. Having more and more we can become less and less. Our time in our country calls us to confront racism and bigotry toward men and women different from ourselves in faith or nationality or lifestyles.

Today these long ago instructions call each of us to ‘check our baggage and travel lightly on our journey, in the company of others, toward the kingdom of God.