Luke 9: 1-9
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.
Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him.
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-translations)
Give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need;Lest, being full, I deny you, saying, “Who is the Lord?” Or, being in want, I steal, and profane the name of my God.”
St. Ignatius Loyola’s First Principle and Foundation at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises is a reminder to order all things to the greater praise, reverence, and service of God. All created things, in turn, are to be used insofar as they lead to this end, and rejected as long as they hinder that end. From here, Ignatius calls the followers of Christ to ‘indifference’ to all created things – neither clinging to them for fear of loss, nor throwing them aside if they can serve that primary purpose. This indifference we might call a posture of ‘open palms’ to all things in our life.
“Give me neither poverty nor riches; provide me only with the food I need,” we read in today’s first reading from the Book of Proverbs. Are there relationships, desires, or possessions in my life that “fill me up” and draw my attention away from God? Conversely, do I dismiss any created things (talents, relationships, responsibilities) that might elicit a fuller response of generosity to God and neighbor?
Let our prayer today be for this Ignatian indifference to all created things.
—Joseph Simmons, SJ
Lord, as we read the following words by St. Ignatius, may they be imprinted on our soul.
“We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,wealth or poverty, success of failure, a long life or short one. For everything has the potential of calling forth in in us a deeper response to our life in God. Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to the deepening of God’s life in me.”
—St. Ignatius as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J. from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises
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