12 July 2007

Homily - 12 July 2007

Today’s Gospel is one that has inspired the lives of countless saints of God. Having heard this memorable passage, they turned their lives around and proclaimed the Gospel far and wide.

When I head out for a walk around the lake I most always put on my sandals and take my walking stick, in direct defiance of Jesus’ command. This passage has long bothered me, especially when I go out for a walk, in part because it seems so senseless.

We place sandals and shoes upon our feet in order to lessen the pain of the journey and to speed our travels. With our feet shod we travel greater distances with less difficulty. With staff in hand we do the same and traverse ever farther with greater ease and we are protected from those who would seek to harm us. What is wrong with this? Why would the Lord forbid staff and sandals?

Staff and sandals are, in one sense, a way of asserting our independence and our strength; they are a way of relying on our own power and ingenuity, not of recalling the marvels that the Lord has done.

What, then, is the Lord teaching us? He is teaching us to trust fully in him, to rely not on our own ability and prowess but to rely on his grace alone. Only in this way can the Kingdom of heaven be proclaimed by his followers; only in this way can his peace reign in our hearts and we keep his commands.

Hearing this Gospel, Saint Francis of Assisi exclaimed: “This is what I want. This is what I desire with all my heart.”[1] Immediately thereafter Francis placed his life in the hands of the Lord. Let us do the same.

[1] Saint Bonaventure, Majory Legend, 3.1.


  1. This must be a day for walking sticks. ;)

  2. Now that's a picture that makes you look like a teenager on a camping trip.

  3. Well, I don't think it's exactly recent. Seminary days, I suspect.