Traveling light–what baggage are we carrying? Reflections on the Sunday Gospel Mark 6:7-13 by Father Steven LaBaire

I am pleased to present this guest post from Father Steven LaBaire, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Worcester, MA.

In preparation for mass this Sunday:

“Jesus summoned the twelve and began to send them out ..He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money for their belts…so they went off and preached everywhere.”  (Mark 6:7-13)

Sending people out on a journey virtually empty-handed may sound like bad advice.

Historians now tell us that it was the BEST advice.

In Jesus’ day many people traveled on foot at night. The daytime temperatures could be extremely hot and uncomfortable.

The Middle Eastern wilderness could be a dangerous place at any time. But the dark of night, although cooler, could be especially risky.

Robbers and thugs would often attack unsuspecting, vulnerable travelers.

Bringing along money, valuables and even food might make one the target of attack and injury.

edward musiak cold morning desert landscape, Flickr Creative Commons
edward musiak cold morning desert landscape, Flickr Creative Commons

Jesus’ advice is: better to rely on the hospitality of others. Don’t weigh yourself down with stuff that will hamper or even derail the mission!

What kind of baggage are you carrying with you through your day, your week? Your life? Is any of it hampering your journey? Your mission?

John Perivolaris J.D.P.Heading Home with the Suitcase, Omar García Obregón, 4 October 2008, Flickr Creative Commons
John Perivolaris J.D.P.Heading Home with the Suitcase, Omar García Obregón, 4 October 2008, Flickr Creative Commons

Sure, we’re not living or traveling the Middle Eastern wilderness.

We’re navigating a hi-tech, post-modern  21st century world.

What we carry within us each day can enhance or impede our living.

  • Are we carrying anger or resentment?  Do we bring a negative outlook to too many situations?
  • Are you carrying anxiety or a preoccupation with little details that will make no difference by next week?
  • Am I carrying an expectation that things are supposed to always  go the way I plan them, or expect them, and then get really ticked off when they inevitably don’t?

The words of Jesus challenge us to travel smart. Travel well.

The baggage we carry within ourselves has the power uplift or to wreck, to injure or to heal. The stuff we carry inside can propel you to or impede you from living life abundantly.

How will you choose to travel your road? Your life?

Copyright 2015 Steven Michael LaBaire

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