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 The good news for the day February 2, 2017

Thursday of the fourth Week in Ordinary Time (326)

Jesus gathered the “Twelve” and sent them out in pairs; He gave them ways to handle harmful spirits. He told them to take nothing along—except a walking staff—no extra food, no wallet, or money in their belts. They were allowed, though, to use sandals—but not carry spare clothing. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a home, stay there until you go away. Whatever home does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there; shake the dust off your feet to show people about them.” Off they went and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many sick people—and cured them. (Mark 6)

It’s easy to “blow this Gospel off”; it’s the job of professional people, with vows and no families—Jesuits going to Japan, medieval monks depending on alms—early Franciscan friars. We do not engage with these words; they are for ‘others.’.

On the contrary, the mission Jesus sends you on—involves freedom—a certain complete distance from fears of shelter and food, a freedom to find and welcome the “family of God” in whatever guise they appear—good people with whom you watch the Super Bowl, share little Halloween visitors and help fix lawnmowers. Authenticity, generosity and humility mark not religious repentance, but a “turning” towards God which your presence can evoke. They come to care, to serve others, to be honest, and to seek your healing help.

Do you talk seriously with some folks—helping her with her marital problems or wayward daughter? Do you welcome the tears of your troubled fellow teacher? Do you hear the heartache of lost love? Do you laugh with your Facebook friend over the antics of the child and dog? No staff, no money, no wallet, no shoes or extra clothing is involved—something bare, raw and honest here—something that engages God and God’s family. Some folks avoid serious conversations—and you say” all right”—you shake the dust off—go on to others who share your concerns, your quests, your caring. God’s love & mission run deep and daily—and you drive out demons!

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