Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), Priest

This week Jesus has been exhorting His followers to be humble, to be the least before one another, to be obedient children of God. Today He teaches the Twelve what it is to live that out by telling them, in essence, “Let God be God.”

The apostles of Jesus must have been quite ridiculous, going from town to town with nothing, with no plans, with no social standing or wealth to impress those they met. They were no better than beggars; who would listen to such people? Yet there must have been something about them that grabbed people’s attention: today’s Gospel mentions the proclamation of the Gospel and the curing of diseases in particular.

What a strange thing it must have been to witness, these peculiar men and their amazing deeds. We might wonder about not only the effect it had on those who heard their words and saw their deeds but consider the impact it must have had on the “ordinary” person. How many dared to think, “If they can do such things, could I?”

This, we could say, is one reason why Jesus exhorts His followers to be children of God, to be lowly and the servant of all. In doing so He makes the life of a disciple accessible to all people, not merely the well-educated, the rich, the famous or powerful. Not only does Jesus’ sparse packing list for the Twelve help them to rely all the more on the Father and bear witness to His providence, but it is also a powerful invitation for others, any others, to follow. If even those who have nothing are not only cared for by God but can also serve Him in such amazing ways, what is to stop any of us at all from doing the same?

September 23rd, 2015