WHY WE MUST TRAVEL LIGHT, Revd Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp

HOMILY, WEDNESDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A

ST PIO OF PIETRELCINA [PADRE PIO] MEMORIAL

Padre Pio (Pius) was born in Italy in 1887 and joined the Capuchin Friars. he was ordained in 1910, and three years later he received the visible signs of the stigmata. From the time onwards, he had to endured all kinds of humiliations. he spent the whole of his life hearing confessions, directing penitents and interceding for the church and the world. He died at San Giovanni Rotondo on 23 September 1968. [Daily Missal]

Proverbs 30:5-9, LUKE 9:1-6

 Many today are sick because of the quest for comfort and material well-being. The ruler of this world works strenuously to keep people in bondage to earthy pursuits. That is why the Lord gave his disciples authority over all demons and to cure diseases. Among other ailments, the mind-body diseases which we contract in our strives for pleasures often open doors to many spiritual afflictions. But with the word of God, we develop the capacity to banish the negative spirits which we pick up in those moments when we give vent to out inordinate quests.

Hence, the Lord sends his disciples to preach the kingdom of God so as to put an end to the reign of Satan and equally heal those who are sick. Padre Pio performed this mission imperative mostly at the confessional, reconnecting the penitents back to the loving presence of God. He sacrificed the worldly pleasure so as join in the passion of the divine Saviour.

Moreover, the Lord admonishes us in our today’s gospel to travel light. As messengers of the word, if we do not learn how to travel light, we may dilute the message of the gospel in order to get what we want. The Lord said in the gospel, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, or bag, or bread, or money, and do not have two tunics.” Some people who are not ready to change their ways often believe that, if a minister is not settled financially or materially, he must surely be at their mercy. So, withdrawing support for their ministry or showing them cold feet may make them water down the message of the Gospel so as to suite them.

If we are not materially independent or if we do not develop a taste which helps us to enter into the gospel adventures, we may be tempted to use lies as part of our survival strategies. This is delicate and detrimental to the gospel expansion.

However, in our first reading, we read, “Every word of God proves true … do not add to his words, lest he rebukes you, and you be found a liar.” Though there is a sure tendency to lose sight of the authentic gospel in our struggle to meet our needs, God remains our provider. He must surely provide for us.

Let us be intent on doing the will of God all the time. It is profitable representing the Lord in truth and in spirit.

May the word of the gospel that we carry banish all the apparitions of evil around us. May it cure all those who are sick and ignite in their hearts the light of the Lord’s kingdom. Through the intercession of Saint Pio, may the truth of God’s words dwell in our hearts in all its fullness. Amen.

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