Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there.Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Like Jesus’ original disciples, Pope Francis is traveling lightly through the United States. (Unlike the original disciples, the media is traveling with him!) And he has gotten a much better welcome than some of the disciples did. In fact, Jesus tells them in today’s Gospel not to expect to be greeted everywhere with joy. People aren’t always ready to hear the Good News proclaimed to them.
That’s true for us today. People don’t always want to hear that they are called to love, show mercy, and forgive one another. So what do we do when people aren’t willing to listen? First of all, as Jesus says, it’s important not to waste time when our message falls on deaf ears. He says we should “shake the dust off our feet” and move on. That doesn’t mean we aren’t open to the possibility that these same people may be open to the message in the future, however.
Move on, but come back when they might be ready later.
—Fr. James Martin, SJ, is the author of our special series of reflections in honor of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. Fr. Martin is associate editor of America magazine;a frequent commentator in the media; and author of many books, including, most recently, Jesus: A Pilgrimage and his novel The Abbey.
Do not be afraid of holiness, do not be afraid to aim high,
to be loved and purified by God.
Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit.
—Pope FrancisPlease share the Good Word with your friends!