Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops
Scripture Readings (Reflection drawn specifically from the Gospel for this feast)
Around this time last year, I learned something very important about myself– I was an addict.
I wasn’t addicted to alcohol, or tobacco, or chocolate, or drugs, or Netflix, or porn, or ice cream, or caffeine, or shopping, or video games. None of the usual suspects were at play in my life. No, I was addicted… to comfort.
My addiction fed itself, quietly and subtly, in my life through the likes of long, hot showers, sleeping in, avoiding difficult conversations, blasting the air conditioner, eating whatever I wanted, driving when I could have walked, a comfy bed. These things are not bad. I still do/have all those things, although not with the frequency or approach that I used to. The way my life revolved around attaining these little pleasures was dangerous for my soul– if I could not detach myself from these little things, how was I going to detach myself for the big things? Like surrendering my life to our Lord?
The gospel today reminds us that our only comfort is from God. Jesus sends his disciples out two by two with explicit instructions: “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals.” The implicit question: Do you trust me? Where do you put your security? Going to a strange place with nothing in hand is liable to be an uncomfortable (and perhaps even frightening) experience. Yet these disciples, uncomfortable though they might have been, were fortified in their journey by faith and trust in the provision of the Lord. They KNEW Jesus, knew he wouldn’t set them up to fail or string them along. And Jesus, for his part, knew –as a man and as God– that human beings are only fully alive if they are totally free to love and give themselves to others. If we are wrapped up in pursuing a comfortable life, we will find ourselves too attached to give ourselves away. Jesus did not fail those first disciples, and he will not fail us. The first disciples returned from their mission amazed by the great miracles done at their hands, and so shall we.
We are not promised that the life of a disciple will be easy; in fact, we are told the opposite: “Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” In college, I once heard a priest joke that sending us out on campus was like sending us out among the wolves. Yet we went into the fray and mess of campus life, into the “danger”, gladly because our love for the Lord and for his people exceeded our own desire to stay at home, tucked into our neat little community, “safe” from the sins of the world. The comfortable choice was obvious. But, rejoice… we were not made for comfort, but for greatness!
– Katrina Boos